Are you ready for possible power cuts? Message to staff

Are you ready for possible power cuts? Message to staff

Dear colleagues 

You may have seen references in our Staff News ezine of the what the University is doing to prepare for winter and possible planned power cuts. 

There have also been media reports that planned power outages may be needed early in the new year due to concerns over energy supplies. 

As well as loss of local power and heating any outage would also likely see: 

  • Most buildings losing telephony, network, internet access and mechanical ventilation 

  • Buildings on the campus main heating system would cool down over a few hours 

  • The failure of pumps supplying water to upper floors of some buildings which would mean toilet and tap issues 

  • Street lighting and traffic signals not working making road travel hazardous 

  • The mobile phone system potentially failing after as little as an hour after loss of power, with the possibility that network operating companies might reduce the quality of the service, possibly to the old 2G standard - i.e. reduced to voice and text services only 

The University’s Resilience Action Group has been taking various preparatory steps which include: 

  • Ensuring back-up generators are fully fuelled 

  • Confirming that critical equipment is supported in buildings with back-up power 

  • Planning for student and staff welfare 

  • Creating a special winter preparedness webpage with advice, FAQs and tips such as ensuring you have a torch and warm clothing handy 

Planned outages – also known as rota disconnections - may not happen but, given the impact on the north-east of severe weather like Storm Arwen, it is sensible to prepare for all possibilities. 

I hope you find this helpful and enables you to make any contingency plans. You can read our message to students here. (add link to that comm) 

Best wishes 

Tracey and Ruth


Tracey Slaven

University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer

Ruth Taylor

Vice-Principal Education