This is what the BBC will do if there are blackouts this winter

This is what the BBC will do if there are blackouts this winter
Nadhim Zahawi says power blackouts in winter will be ‘extremely unlikely’

Despite what Prime Minister Liz Truss may have said about potential blackouts this winter, it seems there is a possibility they could occur.

According to a report from The Guardian, the BBC has prepared scripts to inform the public and keep people calm if a "major loss of power" occurred causing phone networks, internet access, home electricity, traffic signals, and more to fail.

The scripts advise people to use battery-powered or car radios to listen for emergency broadcasts on frequencies typically reserved for Radio 2 and Radio 4. Updates would be given from the UK's emergency broadcast center with half-hourly news bulletins every half hour and a “music service” on Radio 4.

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The scripts inform citizens about steps the government would take to get supplies out and power turned back on. It also warns people that hospitals and police could experience "extreme pressure" with blackouts lasting up to two days.

Luckily the scripts are only drafts written as part of routine emergency planning training to deal with hypothetical scenarios. But this one is a bleak reminder of the energy crisis.

In a national emergency, like a country-wide blackout, the BBC would be instrumental in distributing information. The UK government works directly with the BBC to help give out information in the event of national emergencies.

But when it comes to winter blackouts, the government says it's not worried this will be a real scenario.

The National Grid, however, did warn UK residents that blackouts could be imposed on “really, really cold” winter weekdays in January and February if Europe cuts gas exports.

John Pettigrew, the head of the National Grid, said at the Financial Times' Energy Transition Summit that electricity and gas may be switched off on the "deepest, darkest evenings" if the war in Ukraine causes a greater loss in energy supplies.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)