Unfortunately our power cables, especially those on overhead pylons can be affected by snow and ice and high winds at this time of the year. UK Power Networks are the company that look after these cables and have to go out and repair them when something goes wrong. They are concerned that people who are vulnerable during a power cut get the help they need. Examples include people who are dependent on electricity for medical equipment such as oxygen, nebulisers, dialysis, sleep apnoea, hoists, stair lifts or have medication that needs to be kept in a fridge. Also, people who have chronic health problems, mobility problems and other disabilities or who are frail.
You need to join the Priority Customer Register and Ipswich DAB has the forms. You can also join by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 0800 169 9970
When you join you will be given a priority phone number that you can contact to report a power cut (or get updates) without being held in a queue. UK Power Networks, once they know of a power cut will try to contact all registered customers in the affected area. However, you will need to use an ordinary landline telephone, as cordless phones do not work during power cuts.
UK Power Networks work closely with the British Red Cross who will visit to offer help during adverse weather or if the power cut will last for several hours. They may set up emergency centre where people can be taken to keep warm and get hot drinks and snacks.
Finally, one the repairs to the electricity cables have been completed, people on the Priority Service Register will be contacted to make sure that individual homes have been restored. This is because trip switches can be affected as the power goes off and need to be reset when it is restored. However, these are usually situated in places that are awkward to get to, such as the cupboard under the stairs.