High winds warning - power and travel advice

Date published: 11 September 2017

With high winds forecast for some areas, disruption to traffic or travel could be a consequence. Power cuts are also a possibility. There are things you can do to prepare in case your electricity goes off. There are practical steps you can take if it does.

Traffic and travel

High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather, but strong gusts can also blow a car, cyclist, motorcyclist or horse rider off course. This can happen on open stretches of road exposed to strong cross winds, or when passing bridges or gaps in the hedges.

In very windy weather a vehicle may be affected by turbulence created by large vehicles. Motorcyclists are particularly affected, so keep well back from them when they are overtaking a high-sided vehicle.

Motorists are also advised to drive with care due to possible wind-blown debris.

If there are any problems on the roads as a result of high winds, you can get the latest updates on the  TrafficwatchNI website.

If you're planning to travel by air or sea, you should check with the ferry company or airline in case there are any delays or cancellations.

Preparing for a power cut

It's important to be prepared for a potential loss of power. You should:

  • know where your household fuses and trip switches are so that you can check if the problem is with your electrics only
  • test smoke alarms regularly and
  • keep a supply of new batteries in torches and radios (for checking updates on news bulletins)
  • keep a supply of candles
  • if you have a baby at home, make sure you have a supply of pre-prepared formula baby milk (if used) and prepare a flask of hot water to heat bottles and baby food (it is always safer to make up a fresh feed; when this is not possible, feeds should never be stored for longer than 24 hours)

If you depend on electrical equipment that is vital to your health, contact Northern Ireland Electricity Network (NIE) to get on their Critical Care Register:

If your electricity goes off

If your electricity goes off, you should:

  • check your fuses and trip switches - then check if your neighbours are without power
  • leave one light on
  • leave your fridge/ freezer switched on with the door shut to maintain a low temperature
  • check that other electrical appliances and machinery are switched off at the wall
  • preferably use a torch, oil or gas lamp as a source of light rather than candles
  • if you must use naked flames, please take extra care and make certain that they are put out before you go to bed
  • check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours in your area to make sure they are okay
  • if you are using a generator, be careful where you site it in case of carbon monoxide poisoning

Reporting a power cut

If your power is off and you want to report it or get more information, contact NIE’s Customer Helpline or visit their website:

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