Met Office weather warnings: What to do if you have a power cut in a storm and the compensation you can claim

With thousands of families across the North East recently affected by power cuts caused by adverse weather conditions, we have taken a look at what to do if this happens to you – and what you may be able to claim.

Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 4:07 pm

Storm Malik and Storm Corrie battered the region with strong winds over the weekend, while some communities continue to recover from Storm Arwen last November.

Experts at Utility Bidder have gone through their top tips for dealing with a power outage; including who to contact, what to do while you wait and finding out about compensation.

Checking for a power cut

We take a look at what to do if you've had a power cut and the compensation you can claim. Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images.

If the power goes off in your home, you first need to determine whether or not it’s a problem in your property or the wider area.

Checking to see if the street lights are off is a good way to determine whether the local power is down. If they’re on, it may be an issue within your home.

If just your lights and/or electrical appliances have gone off, it could be a problem with a trip switch rather than the whole power supply.

You can also check with a neighour to see if their power is working and if you have a prepayment meter, ensure you have credit on it.

Thousands of homes across the North East were affected by Storm Arwen in November last year and by Storms Malik and Corrie at the weekend. Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images.

Information on power cuts in your local area is available if you contact 105 via phone.

What to do when the power goes out

Once you have determined that the problem is outside your home, you can contact your provider – in this case, Northern Powergrid – for updates.

Utility Bidder experts outlined a number of tips for dealing with longer power outages. They include;

*Switch off electrical appliances at the plug in case of a power surge.

*Put your mobile phone on low power mode, turn down your screen brightness and turn off apps running in the background.

*Keep your freezer and fridge closed as much as possible. Food can generally keep in the freezer for 15 – 24 hours if you can avoid opening it, and around four to six hours in the fridge.

*Leave one light switched on if possible so you know when the power returns.

*Wrap up warm if the power cut happens in the evening or cold weather and try to stay calm as the provider works to restore your power.

How to prepare for a power cut if bad weather is forecast

*Have a battery-operated torch handy

*Buy and keep charged a portable battery pack for your mobile phone

*Keep a plug-in landline which doesn’t require electricity as most cordless phones will go off in a power cut

*Have thick blankets and clothes ready for warmth

*Get food and drink which doesn’t require electricity to heat it up

*If you have any medical equipment in need of battery power, contact your doctor about a back-up plan and join the priority service register

When am I entitled to compensation?

Utility Bidder says you are entitled to £70 compensation if your power is off for more than 24 hours.

For storms of more than 48 hours, you receive an additional £70 for every 12 hours you are without electricity, up to a cap of £700.

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