Who you gonna call...when the lights go out?
Age Cymru is working with Western Power Distribution to help pensioners in west Wales know what to do when their power supply fails.
The charity and the utility company recently took an information stand about power cuts to Carmarthen market.
Although power cuts are extremely rare they can be distressing for older people who may not be sure of what to do and who to contact.
The two organisations have worked together to draw up an eight point advice plan and have also produced a handy telephone-shaped fridge magnet displaying the telephone number of Western Power Distribution’s free information line (0800 052 0400).
Volunteers from Age Concern Sir Gar, together with representatives from WPD spent a day in Carmarthen handing out the fridge magnets and providing help and advice to older shoppers visiting the market.
The volunteers also gave out general information and advice for pensioners living in the area.
Age Cymru’s Chief Executive, Robert Taylor, said: “This is a simple but very effective way of helping older people deal with what could be a stressful situation if they didn’t know what to do. Trying to find the right telephone number for information about a cut in your power supply can be difficult, especially if it is dark.”
Phil Davies, Western Power Distribution’s (WPD) Network Services Manager for Wales said: “This important, new information initiative is designed to provide a convenient and clear reminder to older people about who to contact in the event of a power supply disruption.
“On the rare occasions when power supplies fail it is important that our older customers in west Wales have our contact details at their fingertips. This ensures that we can serve them as promptly and efficiently as possible any time of the day or night.”
The Eight Point Plan
1 Check your trip switch (near your fuse box or electricity meter). The switch will flick down if there is a problem with your supply. If this has happened switch off all your appliances and reset the switch. Your supply may come back on.
2 Check to see if your neighbours have lost their power supply.
3 If you cannot find a reason why you have no electricity call WPD 0800 052 0400.
4 Make sure you keep an older style corded phone handy - one that plugs into the wall with a cord attached to the handset. Many new style digital phones do not work when there is a power cut.
5 Keep the freezer door shut. Your food should stay frozen for at least 12 hours.
6 Turn off any equipment you are not using that can get hot such as an iron, oven, or toaster.
7 Make sure you keep a torch or lantern to hand - one that works without electricity such as a battery, wind-up or solar powered torch. A battery operated radio is also useful.
8 Leave a light switch on so you know when power has been restored.
Don’t assume someone else has reported the power failure or that WPD knows - make the call on 0800 052 0400
If you or someone you know has a disability, illness or a condition that needs priority attention please call: 0845 601 2989 to register for WPD’s Priority Services Register.