Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) is now operating at Yellow Alert status in response to the severe weather that is forecast to hit Scotland late tonight.
Independent forecasters are predicting gusts of up to 100 mph and lightning strikes across parts of the country, with worst conditions expected in the Western Isles, North West Highlands and Orkney. Gusts of around 85mph are expected throughout Argyll and Moray Firth.
In response, SHEPD has put in place its contingency plans, ensuring optimum staffing levels to deal with any damage the storm may cause to the electricity network.
The electricity distributor has mobilised hundreds of additional staff on the ground and in customer call centres. It is also transferring some resources from its sister company, Southern Electric Power Distribution, in anticipation of the severe weather.
Rodney Grubb, head of operations, explained the significance of the Yellow Alert: “Going to Yellow Alert is an indication of how seriously we are taking this storm that is likely to hit Scotland. It means increasing our resources and mobilising them to places where the storm is likely to cause the most havoc and damage the electricity network.”
Rodney also urged customers to be prepared in case the power does goes off for as short while: “Simple things like having a box of candles and some matches, a plug-in radio to keep up to date with the news and a plug-in phone to contact friends or relatives can make a huge difference. As always, if you know of someone who may need extra help during a power cut, please call our Priority Service team and we’ll add their details to our files.”
SHEPD, which serves 750,000 customers, is working with councils, emergency services and a number of other agencies to ensure that vulnerable customers are looked after. Outbound calls continue to be made to our most vulnerable customers, offering them a priority service.
Any customers who lose their electricity supply are urged to contact our dedicated team on 0800 300 999 to report damage or highlight neighbours or friends who may need extra help.