With winter officially here, wetter, windier and frostier weather is to be expected in the months ahead. As a result, the company that delivers power to homes and businesses is reminding the public to be prepared in case of a power cut.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) is responsible for maintaining the network of wires, cables, substations and pylons that keep the lights on for 7.8 million customers across the Midlands, the South West England and South Wales.

Winter presents its own challenges, but the business is ensuring that its high tech systems and dedicated staff are in place so that whatever the weather it can endeavour to restore power supplies quickly if they are disrupted.

Forward planning and regular advanced Met Office weather predictions mean that WPD’s operational depots are always primed and staffed for when poor weather arrives.

In these instances, WPD additional operational and engineering staff in place and on stand-by, as well as extra Contact and Control Centre operatives available to look after the electricity network and to help customers with their enquiries.

WPD also provides additional support to customers who could find themselves vulnerable in a power cut, such as the less abled and the elderly via their Priority Service Register.

For more information about WPD’s Priority Service Register and advice on what to do to prepare for a power cut visit the website.

Anyone experiencing an emergency like a power cut can now call the national freephone power cut phone line – 105 – or WPD’s direct emergency line number, which is 0800 6783 105.

Here are some tips on what to do to prepare in case of a power cut:

  1. Check you have a phone available that will work in a power cut – digital or cordless ones may not work.
  2. Keep a battery/solar charger handy so that you can recharge your smart phone or tablet and follow updates on Twitter and Facebook or on WPD’s online power cut map.
  3. Keep WPD’s telephone number handy or save it into your mobile phone (105 or 0800 6783 105) so that you can report a power cut or call for information and advice.
  4. Have a torch or lantern ready. It’s best not to use candles or paraffin lights.
  5. Protect sensitive equipment such as computers with a surge protector plug.
  6. Keep a wind-up/battery/solar radio ready so you can listen to local radio updates.
  7. If you have a mains operated stair lift, check to see if there is a manual release handle that can be used to return it safely to the ground level if it stops working.