Only 3 nights without power and many cannot cope (Storm Arwen)
Another unwelcome example of just how so many people in modern times (EVEN IN REMOTE AREAS) are ill equipped both mentally and practically to deal with a major weather event. And this includes the Local authorities and the utilities.
No land lines, no cell service, roads blocked across the UK by faling trees, downed power lines, landslips, floodwater and drifting snow. No open shops, No heating or hot water, indeed no water at all in some places. Many former urbanites who have relocated to rural areas have simply made no provision incase things go bad.
In many areas the only hot food available has come from charitable groups.
I must have said this a thousand times in my 40 years of prepping, but I’ll say it again. You simply cannot rely on the state to come to your assistance in a large scale event. They simply do not have the resources.
Storm Arwen: ‘We can’t go another night without power’
After three nights without electricity, residents in the parts of Scotland worst affected by Storm Arwen are growing weary.
In Torphins, Aberdeenshire, people are struggling to keep warm in sub-zero temperatures and are grateful for the hot food handed out by local good Samaritans.
Among them are Paul and Rebecca Murray, a father and his daughter, who are relying on the heat provided by a single gas heater.
“It’s been pretty horrific,” Rebecca told BBC Scotland. “The power went off on Friday. I live in a little council house and I’m a single mum of a three-year-old. In our house you can see our breath.
“Thankfully I could go round to my mum and dad’s house and they’ve got a gas heater, but aside from that we just had nothing.”
Paul and Rebecca have no phone signal to contact anyone and on Sunday there was no water. “It’s absolutely terrifying,” Rebecca said.
They’ve not been told by their energy provider when the power will be restored.
“I don’t think they know themselves,” said Paul. “They’re just trying their best to get it put back on.”
Fiona Fyfe said she was initially told the power would be restored on Friday night, but it has been repeatedly postponed.
Energy firm SSEN has now told her they hope to get her power back by 22:00 on Monday.
“I don’t think we can go another night without power,” she said.
“It’s been really, really cold. We’re lucky, we’ve got a stove and lots of logs but obviously with more snow, it’s just maddening, absolutely maddening.”
She said that food in her freezer is starting to defrost and she has to walk to the main road to get signal on her phone.
Andrew Hutcheon is among those dishing out hot food and drinks in Torphins. He runs Cafe 83 in Kemnay.
“Yesterday back in Kemnay, we didn’t have any power, the signal was down so we decided to throw the barbeque on, find some hot water, get some heat into people and get a feed into them,” he said
“It’s a bit of dire situation but everyone who’s coming to us is more upbeat because obviously they’re getting some hot food and hot drinks.”
He said the crews working to restore power have an “unbelievable” task ahead of them.
“Over the years we’ve obviously had a bit of wind but it’s never been anything like this – the amount of trees that are down in the forest, I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said
“Coupled with the freezing weather and the snow, it’s not ideal.”
Meanwhile in Aberfeldy, in Perth and Kinross, Debbie Martin has bought a second-hand generator after recently switching to fully-electric heating.
She has been told she could be without power until 11:00 on Tuesday because it is still too dangerous to remove trees which have fallen on to power lines.
She told the BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “You can’t do the things you would normally do.
“You can’t brush your teeth because your toothbrush is flat. You have to drive round in the car to charge your phone.
“To boil the kettle, I’ve been putting it on the log burner stove and it’s been taking an hour and a half.”
When you get a power cut, you just assume that it’s going to come back on in an hour or two, but obviously it hasn’t,” Debbie said.
She said it’s been “really difficult to get information” from her energy provider SSE.
“Everything in our house is electric. We’ve got an electric heating system, an electric cooker,” she added.
“We bought a second-hand generator in Dundee yesterday, so we’ve gone round a couple of neighbours’ houses to get their phones and iPads charged because people can’t contact relatives.”
‘Worst in decades’
Kenny Anderson, from Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire, is used to power cuts having lived in rural north-east Scotland all his life.
But he says the damage wreaked by Storm Arwen is the worst he has known in more than two decades.
He told the BBC: “Our power went off at four o’clock on Friday afternoon. We’re a bit lucky in that we’ve got a gas hob because we get two or three power cuts a year.
“They only usually last a few hours, or maybe a day. So this is the longest one we have had in 23 years.”
“I was brought up in Glenlivet in the 60s and 70s and I don’t remember power cuts ever lasting more than a day or two.”