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Orkney residents urged to Be Winter Ready

As temperatures drop and the weather worsens, folk in Orkney are being urged to make sure they are ready for winter as part of a newly launched campaign.

A national campaign is urging people in Orkney to be prepared for bad weather this winter and to know what to do if they have a power cut or gas emergency.

The launch comes as it’s revealed almost one in five people across Scotland admit they aren’t prepared for winter weather as colder conditions roll in.

The figures have been released to coincide with Be Winter Ready Day – a new initiative run by the gas distribution company SGN and the UK’s other electricity and gas networks — is aiming to help the public be better prepared if they have a power cut or gas emergency this winter. The initiative has been co-ordinated by the Energy Networks Association (ENA).

According to the survey, 56 per cent of people in Scotland think the reliability of the gas and electricity networks means they don’t have to prepare for winter as much as they used to. Elsewhere, 45 per cent don’t keep a torch in their house in case of a power cut, while 64 per cent don’t take steps to get their boiler serviced in advance of winter.

Furthermore, 67 per cent of Scottish residents don’t know who their local gas or electricity network operators are, with just a third saying they prepare themselves for winter by finding out who to contact if their gas or electricity goes off.

The energy networks are calling on people to follow these three steps to Be Winter Ready:

  • Know your free emergency numbers – in a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111 999.
  • Prepare your home – keep a torch handy and get your appliances serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Vulnerable households can get extra support by signing up to the Priority Services Register. You can find their contact details on your energy bill. Visit energynetworks.org to find out who your network operator is.
  • Keep your eyes open – keep an eye on the weather forecast and, if you have a power cut or a gas emergency, check on your neighbours.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, said: “In recent years the chances of unplanned problems with electricity and gas supply have reduced dramatically. Since 1990, network companies have invested £80bn in improving the reliability of local energy networks in the UK. On average, electricity customers have a power cut just once every two years and gas customers will have their gas supply interrupted just once every 40 years.

“However, as the nights get colder and darker, the chances of severe weather increase. Storms, floods and other extreme conditions can sometimes cause damage to the electricity network and disrupt the energy supply. That’s why we are calling on people in Scotland to Be Winter Ready and make sure they are prepared in case they have a power cut or gas emergency.”