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Loss of a utility can cause severe disruption both directly and indirectly

Loss of utilities can happen at any time and with little or no warning. Utilities include services made up of electricity, food, gas, telecoms, transport and water and are sometimes dependent on each other.

The risks

  • Essential services failure, including loss of electricity, fuel, gas, sewerage and water.
  • Financial failures, including, loss of banking systems.
  • Telecommunications failures, including loss of mobile telephony and broadband

Potential impacts

  • Physical and psychological casualties.
  • Lack of clean drinking water.
  • Loss of heating.
  • Loss of lighting.
  • Poor sanitation.
  • Inability to heat food and water.
  • Inability to keep food cold or fresh.
  • Damage to property and infrastructure.
  • Damage to the economy.
  • Empty shop shelves.
  • Unavailability of cash machines and card payment services.
  • Unavailability of electricity to charge mobile phones or power radios and televisions

What you can do

  • Keep a stock of essential supplies - remember to check perishable items use by dates regularly.
  • If you are forewarned of outages consider ways to prepare, for instance, if you will be without water fill the bath.
  • Ensure vulnerable family members and friends register as priority customers with Western Power Distribution.
  • Know where to turn off your utilities.
  • Keep a paper copy list of your utilities suppliers emergency contact numbers.
  • Keep a paper copy list of important contact numbers, including family and friends.
  • Consider keeping an analogue landline telephone - this will operate in a power outage.
  • Keep a wind-up, solar or battery operated torch and radio in an easily accessible safe place.
  • Cover fridges and freezers to retain coldness and make sure doors to fridges and freezers are kept closed.
  • Have a battery or solar charger ready to recharge electronic devices.
  • Back up and save work on your computer

Treat electricity cables as live - call 105 to report a power cut.

Further information