The voice of the networks

Preparing for storms and bad weather

The energy networks are extremely resilient and built to withstand the British weather. However, during storms power cuts can happen. Here's how we prepare and what you can do.

Black dog jumping through snow

Energy network operators keep a close eye on bad weather and prepare according to extensive emergency plans.

Before the storm. Preparations don't just take place immediately before a storm. Tree-trimming takes places all-year-round to minimise the risk of fallen trees and branches coming into contact with power cables and other infrastructure. Shifts are also planned during the winter months to ensure the right number of staff are available for added resilience.

When a storm is forecast. As well as year-round tree trimming programmes, steps are taken as soon as a storm is forecast. Network operators arrange for more staff to be brought in, ready to tackle problems if they occur. Vehicles and equipment are moved to strategic locations - like big substations or remote parts of the network - to help make repairs quickly if needed. Control rooms and customer service staff bring in extra people to help keep you informed and support engineers on the ground.

During a storm. We help co-ordinate a joint response across the energy networks. We collate information and provide advice to you through the news and social media. We also update this website with the latest information and advice, so you can stay up to date. When a storm is causing issues, you'll see an orange banner appear at the top of this website. It will direct you to the latest information.

How can I prepare?

You can take some simple steps to prepare for bad weather.

  • Keep a mobile phone fully charged.
  • Add the emergency numbers to your contacts.
  • Bookmark this website on your mobile phone.
  • Keep a torch handy in case you are without power during the night.
  • Have warm clothes and blankets accessible in case you experience a prolonged power cut.
  • Keep trampolines and other garden items tied down or locked away.
  • Don't approach damage to equipment and instead, report it by calling 105.
  • Check in on your neighbours, friends and family to make sure they're okay.

If you need extra help…

If your medical or personal circumstances mean you might need extra help, the energy networks can support you. You might need extra help if you have trouble with your mobility, if you're sick or disabled, or have trouble communicating. You might need extra help from us if you have young children or you are a carer. Whatever your reason, the energy networks can provide help when you need it. Find out more about becoming a Priority Services Member.

If you see something dangerous…

It is very important that if you see a fallen power line you keep everyone well away from it and call the emergency number to report it. Calling the emergency number will connect you to your local network operator. This is also who you should call if you have a power cut.