NATIONAL Grid has urged customers to prepare ahead of Storm Isha’s arrival in the South West.  

Storm Isha, the most recently named storm of 2024, is set to hit the South West on Sunday (January 21).  

Forecasters say the area will be affected by strong winds and heavy rain, and now National Grid has told residents to prepare for potential power cuts.  

The company’s recommendations include:  

  • Keeping the free electricity emergency number handy – call 105 to report a power cut, 24 hours a day. 

  • Preparing your home – have a torch, mobile phone and an analogue land line phone ready (cordless or digital phones may not work in a power cut). Also have an external battery charging pack available so you can charge smart phones or tablets. A wind-up, solar or battery-powered radio will enable you to listen to local updates. Protect sensitive and valuable electrical equipment with a surge protector. 

  • Keeping an eye out – monitor weather forecasts and if there’s a power cut check if neighbours need help.  

  • Get extra support - vulnerable households can get extra support by signing up to National Grid’s Priority Services Register. It’s a free service for anyone who is elderly, disabled, has children under 5 years old or relies on powered medical equipment. As part of the service, customers are kept informed as much as possible of power cuts affecting their home and are given special help, if needed, through the British Red Cross.  

Jocelyn McConnachie, director of customer excellence, said: “Our engineers are ready to repair any damage that Storm Isha causes, while our control centre will be working 24/7 to manage supplies and our contact centre staff will be available round the clock to answer customers’ calls. 

“Overall the network is very reliable and we have been preparing for winter by carrying out repairs and maintenance ahead of time, including vegetation trimming to protect overhead lines from fallen trees and using helicopters with sophisticated camera technology to assess pylons, poles and cables. 

“Anyone who experiences a power cut, should call us on 105 and we’ll do all we can to get the lights back on as soon as possible. We also encourage customers with extra needs to sign-up to our free Priority Services Register so they can receive additional support during a power cut.”