Thursday, 31 October 2013

Power outages

Following the St Jude's day storm we were without power for 52 hours. Power came back on at mid day on Wednesday.
That was long enough to destroy a freezer and fridge/freezer's worth of food........
As happens my standby sealed lead acid battery was not charged and even my iPhone battery was low on charge. It was only possible to use my phone by taking the iPhone for a ride in the car to get some juice back into it!
Of course, there was no amateur radio activity during this period.
We relied on a cheap and cheerful transistor radio to listen to Radio Suffolk and obtain storm progress and power restoration reports. I am not sure that a battery powered DAB radio battery would have lasted the full 52 hours. There is a lot to be said for simple AM and FM radio!
We registered for text updates from UK Power Networks. Although texts were forthcoming they were of very limited use. Even a rough indiction of when power might have been restored would have been useful. I know that it may have been hard with a widespread outage, but changed reports such as 'it's an overhead fault' followed by 'it's a substation fault' are clearly made up as it changed back to overhead again when more engineers were deployed to our fault. Such messages serve to annoy rather than re-assure the customer that the problem is being dealt with. Come on, UKPN, acknowledge that web pages are not necessarily very useful when power is off and texts need to be more informative. A proper national radio information emergency channel ( possibly on FM) would be useful at disseminating useful information. The internet is NOT the ideal information channel at these times.

Thanks to the loan of a small generator by one of the local amateurs we were able to power a light for one evening, but not much else.
The lesson learnt from all this is that we need our own generator and a switch unit to isolate the house from incoming mains so that the generator can be plugged in to power some of the house items at least.

Sam





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Location:Falkenham Road,Kirton,United Kingdom

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