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Winter Power Cuts UK

england Offline Kev D

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Winter Power Cuts UK
on: November 14, 2022, 04:57:23 PM
Is anyone else prepping for the supposed planned 2 to 3 hour power cuts they say we may get this winter? If so what is your prep?

So far my prep is...

Power/Lighting - 2 mini inverters that run off my ryobi tool batteries to power a couple of LED stand lamps.  Four cheap LED lanterns that take standard AA batteries for walking throughother rooms, going to the bathroom, etc, multiple torches I already own with spare batteries for them all. 2 large capacity Anker power banks for charging cell phones.

Heat - I have a gas fire so am ok for that as services should stay on, but if not. Thermal blankets to wrap up with.  Lots of thermal under layers from years of riding motorbikes, and a room space heater and plenty of gas for it so I can heat 1 room thoroughly, and a battery CO detector.   

Cooking - I have a gas hob so should be ok if services stay on as they say.  But just incase, my 2 camping stoves and have lots of gas bottles so at very least can make a brew and cook some pasta or something easy if needed.

Water - should stay on but after a chat with another member on here, enough bottled water or tap water in my camping containers for brewing, drinking and cooking with.

Entertainment - I'll have light so ideal time to catch up on a book, but also have lots of music on my phone and a couple of echo dots on battery bases I can bluetooth to.

Communication - I will only have my cell phone, so if cell towers go down with the power I'm stuffed.  My landline converts over from hard wired to running off my cable modem on Nov 28th so if I lose my cable service, I lose landline telephone.  For a few hour outage things should be fine.


Any power outages will be planned and only 2 to 3 hours in length.  I'm of the thought I'd rather have things and not need them if they don't happen, rather than need them and not have them if they do.  My sister thinks I'm over prepping, but I don't think I am, and I have our mum living with me. 

What are your thoughts?


us Offline SteveC

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #1 on: November 14, 2022, 08:32:24 PM
Sounds like you are prepped  :tu:

Why is there a need for power cuts there ?


england Offline Kev D

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #2 on: November 14, 2022, 09:16:18 PM
It boils down to shortage of gas for our power stations due to the Russia/ Ukraine war, and also lack of imports of power from Europe, oh and lack of investment upgrading our power stations. 

I don't think it will happen as it will need several things to cause it, but I will be prepared if they do.


us Offline nate j

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #3 on: November 14, 2022, 09:26:49 PM
I agree; you sound well-prepared to me.

It seems you’ve already thought about this some, but do use caution when heating or cooking, as CO is a silent killer in these scenarios.

I’m not sure about the UK, but around here I believe most cell towers have battery backup and or on-site generators that enable them to stay online through short power outages like these.


us Offline nate j

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #4 on: November 14, 2022, 09:29:08 PM
How cold does it get in the winter where you live?


england Offline Kev D

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #5 on: November 14, 2022, 10:09:26 PM
Where I am you rarely see temperatures below -7c (19F).


hr Offline enki_ck

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #6 on: November 14, 2022, 10:36:34 PM
Don't think you'll need water but keeping tap water in canisters is a bad idea for any even slightly longer periods. Try drinking tap water from a bottle that's been in it for even a few days and you'll notice the difference. Bottled water or thos 5 or 7 Liter jugs, don't know what you UK folks have in stores is the way to go.


us Offline nate j

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #7 on: November 15, 2022, 12:51:09 AM
Where I am you rarely see temperatures below -7c (19F).
A bit chilly, but not what I would consider dangerously cold.


A few other things to possibly consider…

A UPS for your cable modem might possibly enable you to keep your landline phone working through the outages.  You would need to investigate this further, figure out what size UPS you would need, etc.

A winter sleeping bag can be nice to have, but probably overkill unless you’re anticipating longer outages or you’ll use it for camping anyway.


wales Offline GearedForwards

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #8 on: November 15, 2022, 01:13:36 AM
I'm not particularly preparing for it, but would do alright:

Lighting - I'm a torch collector so plenty of lights and lanterns to light the entire house for prolonged periods of time. I also have some USB LED lightbulbs that I run off some older powerbanks (too low amperage for phone charging). I also keep a pack of tealights on hand, with a couple of ready-made coke can lanterns for them.

Cooking/Heat - My burners are gas, which should be alright, but if not I do have my Pocket Rocket 2 stove and a half can of gas for it, don't expect to need it though it could also fill up a hot water bottle. Heat would primarily be layers, I find that one of those back pain adhesive pads beneath a paper thin hoody is an immense amount of warmth.

Power - I have several older powerbanks that I use primarily for lighting and a minifridge. A couple of newer Anker ones for my phone and other needs (20,000 mah and 5,000 mah) which would more than keep me topped up if it's only a few hours a night. I have  Ravpower bank that has a proper house socket on it, it's not large capacity but gives the me option of keeping my Surface going. I also have an inverter for my car's cigarette lighter, should things get unpleasant the car would become both a source of heat and a generator.

Entertainment - I enjoy reading and my kindle has great battery life even with the back light on, my phone has a decent amount of music on it and I can load it up with some shows and movies if need be. I could also whittle a bit or work on other projects.
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wales Offline GearedForwards

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #9 on: November 15, 2022, 01:15:22 AM
A bit chilly, but not what I would consider dangerously cold.


A few other things to possibly consider…

A UPS for your cable modem might possibly enable you to keep your landline phone working through the outages.  You would need to investigate this further, figure out what size UPS you would need, etc.

A winter sleeping bag can be nice to have, but probably overkill unless you’re anticipating longer outages or you’ll use it for camping anyway.

With the weather we get it's usually about comfort inside the home, unless you're particularly vulnerable for some reason (such as the elderly). I can only see the average person being in trouble if they get wet outside (or carelessly inside) and get caught out in a black out if their heat is electricity dependent.
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us Offline Barry Rowland

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #10 on: November 15, 2022, 02:30:14 AM
Like the others have said already, stock up on water.  You can make almost anything else work, but water is the most important essential you can have.  We started stocking up on the essentials here just in case.  Our power grid is ancient where I am too
Barry


gb Offline greenbear

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #11 on: November 15, 2022, 09:41:43 AM
I am not sure we will actually have the much touted power cuts. The story seems to have been exacerbated by the media following a run of "Operation Yarbrook" which is a trial run for severe power outages, largely developed after the power outages in Canada many years back when ice brought down power masts. The operation includes bringing out and siting trailer mounted generators in affected areas. In my part of the country this is a regular winter feature due to the high winds bringing down the power lines.

Having said all that, I have prepped, 3 x Nitecore LA10, 1 x Nitecore LR12 and a scattering. of smaller LED Lenser 1 x AAA torches.

Fortunately our smalls very will insulated and it would require more that a few hours of power outage to get it really cold......and in a crisis there is always the local pub  :D :D


ch Offline Etherealicer

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #12 on: November 15, 2022, 09:46:56 AM
[...]Cooking - I have a gas hob so should be ok if services stay on as they say.[...]
It boils down to shortage of gas for our power stations due to the Russia/ Ukraine war, and also lack of imports of power from Europe[...]

I see a contradiction there.
Here it is a "gas shortage" first and foremost leading to an overall energy shortage (although we don't see much of it so far, apart from price hikes due to investments/speculations). I think the speculations might be more a threat than the actual shortage.

Personally, I worry about heating the most. But if it gets bad, I could temporarily move to my parents house, as they have a wood heating for some rooms.
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no Offline nakken

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #13 on: November 15, 2022, 09:58:38 AM
Two weeks ago we had the annual emergency preparedness week in Norway. Self-sufficiency is in focus and we (the fire department) had a stand at our local mall. This is what our government advises everyone to have in case of prolonged power outages, emergencies, etc. It is even more relevant today with what is going on in Europe/Ukraine.

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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #14 on: November 15, 2022, 02:15:48 PM
The worst issue with cold isn't the cold itself, it's what happens in the cold.

If your house isn't cold for too long it may not come to this, but old metal piping is prone to freezing, which results in a rupture.  This can be a very expensive repair (hopefully your insurance covers it!) and can cost you some very dear items.

And, since piping is in the walls, there isn't a lot you can do to protect them.  One thing I would suggest though, is if you do experience a power outage during sub zero temperatures, and you don't have alternative heat methods, is to turn the water on slightly in each faucet in your house.  Moving water is less likely to freeze.

Just Google "burst pipe" and you will see how terrible that can be.

Otherwise, good advice from everyone here.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline Alan K.

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #15 on: November 17, 2022, 04:42:22 AM
Three hours without power isn't too bad.  It gets annoying when it's much longer than that.  I have gone for nearly a month after a major storm.  If it happens when you're not home it could affect the safety of the food you have in your refrigerator and freezer.  I learned a trick long ago to know if you had a power outage while you were away from home.  Freeze a glass of water solid and put a coin on top of the ice.  If the power goes out your freezer should stay cold for at least 24 hours since nobody is opening it.  So, if you get home from a trip and the coin is at the bottom of the glass then your power was likely out for longer than 48 hours and your food may have spoiled.  Another trick I learned dealing with power failures is to put a clear glass vase filled with water on a 6 volt flashlight and the vase filled with water diffuses the light to light up a whole room.  Also, solar powered pathway lights can be charged outside and then brought in and distributed around the house at night.  I charge about 10 of them in a bucket in my yard during the day and bring them in as soon as it starts getting dark and they light up.

* Power Failure.jpg (Filesize: 90.9 KB)


wales Offline Smashie

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #16 on: November 17, 2022, 09:49:16 AM
Three hours is the baseline, the plan runs all the way up to week long power outages.  The devil is in the detail and they don’t like sharing the details.
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wales Offline GearedForwards

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #17 on: November 17, 2022, 10:03:12 AM
Well bugger, that would be a bit of a cramp in working from home. Guess the budget will have to find space for a Jackery or some such  :facepalm:
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wales Offline Smashie

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #18 on: November 17, 2022, 10:31:11 AM
Well bugger, that would be a bit of a cramp in working from home. Guess the budget will have to find space for a Jackery or some such  :facepalm:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/995049/esec-guidance.pdf
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fi Offline Antti Lammi

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #19 on: November 17, 2022, 10:38:54 AM
In Finland they have talked about those power shortages too so 2-3 hours without elecricity wont harm but funny thing about that is we have reserves to fullfill those power shortages but they dont wanna use some weird reasons.
Temperatures here might go -30 to -40 celsius (-22F to -40F) on coldest time so its bit weird that they let powers go down since heating up takes much more energy than they plan to save on those power shortages.
Off course i have prepped those shortages with Water and some flashlights and candles, planned shortages would take around 2-3 hours so i think we manage few hours without power, also have oil heater and gas heater if power shortages takes more than 3 hours on coldest day.


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ch Offline Etherealicer

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #20 on: November 17, 2022, 11:28:22 AM
Three hours without power isn't too bad.  It gets annoying when it's much longer than that.  I have gone for nearly a month after a major storm.  If it happens when you're not home it could affect the safety of the food you have in your refrigerator and freezer.  I learned a trick long ago to know if you had a power outage while you were away from home.  Freeze a glass of water solid and put a coin on top of the ice.  If the power goes out your freezer should stay cold for at least 24 hours since nobody is opening it.  So, if you get home from a trip and the coin is at the bottom of the glass then your power was likely out for longer than 48 hours and your food may have spoiled.  Another trick I learned dealing with power failures is to put a clear glass vase filled with water on a 6 volt flashlight and the vase filled with water diffuses the light to light up a whole room.  Also, solar powered pathway lights can be charged outside and then brought in and distributed around the house at night.  I charge about 10 of them in a bucket in my yard during the day and bring them in as soon as it starts getting dark and they light up.
How long till the water boils :P ::)
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no Offline aicolainen

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #21 on: November 17, 2022, 04:15:41 PM

Temperatures here might go -30 to -40 celsius (-22F to -40F) on coldest time so its bit weird that they let powers go down since heating up takes much more energy than they plan to save on those power shortages.

This is a good point, and something that doesn't quite compute in my head. Short power outages would be terrible for the grid. Instead of stable (though high) consumption, you get insane spikes every time a section of the grid is reinstated. And the average would still be high, as many households need to catch up on heating, cooling, charging, washing and all of the stuff that consumes energy.
And also to your point. It's been touted for a long time by the experts that you save more energy overall by lowering the temperature by a couple of degrees in periods where you don't require comfort temp (e.g. at night and when you're at work) than you do by shutting off the heat completely - of which savings are often pulverized by the energy required to regain the desired temperature.

It's really hard to see how power cuts will fend off energy shortages without either makinging them very short or a lot longer than the 3 hour baseline.

If the power cuts are indeed three hours or less, there's really not much the average family needs to prepare. Healthy people can go 3 extra hours without food or water at any moment, and certainly if the outage is announced and can be planned for.
It's a bit different if you have newborns, disabled or chronically ill people. You may need to make arrangements to heat food or power mobility aids etc. during outages.
Such power cuts has not yet been suggested where I live (and probably won't unless the energy situation changes radically and unexpectedly), but for such short outages I'd mostly be concerned about power spikes and the safety of my electric devices. I would probably do an assessment and identify devices that would benefit from soft start/shutdown mechanisms to avoid damage to equipment or corruption of data.

Again, 3 hour power cuts doesn't make much sense to me, so my guess is you'll most likely get by without any cuts, but in case they happen, I'd want to be prepared for a whole lot more than the baseline 3 hours.


us Offline nate j

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #22 on: November 20, 2022, 08:26:08 PM
It may be that they are threatening the power cuts to try to get people to conserve energy, with little to no intention of actually implementing them.

:shrug:


wales Offline Smashie

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #23 on: November 20, 2022, 08:52:27 PM
It may be that they are threatening the power cuts to try to get people to conserve energy, with little to no intention of actually implementing them.

:shrug:

No, they've begun trials of that and it's been a complete failure (a sample group of only 300,000 households). Where as the practice runs power power cuts have been carried out and deemed a complete success.
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us Offline Alan K.

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #24 on: November 21, 2022, 06:32:29 PM
How long till the water boils :P ::)
My 6 volt flashlights are all LED, so if you're waiting for tea it may be a while. :twak:


us Offline nate j

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #25 on: November 22, 2022, 02:03:15 AM
No, they've begun trials of that and it's been a complete failure (a sample group of only 300,000 households). Where as the practice runs power power cuts have been carried out and deemed a complete success.
Oh boy :facepalm:


ch Offline Etherealicer

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #26 on: November 22, 2022, 09:32:04 AM
My 6 volt flashlights are all LED, so if you're waiting for tea it may be a while. :twak:
Probably not worse than when I tried one of those chemical stoves, but used an insulated mug :D
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wales Offline Smashie

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Re: Winter Power Cuts UK
Reply #27 on: November 22, 2022, 10:59:05 AM
 
Oh boy :facepalm:

Not the words I’d use, but got to keep it family friendly 🤣
“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” - Socrates
"I'm not feeling very talky today, off you smurf". - Smashie
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