Planned systematic power shedding does not present the same issues as a total area wide blackout.
Rota Load Disconnection blocks will be introduced and switched off in turn, on a ‘rota’, for a period of three hours. If the level of electricity shortfall increases, more blocks will be switched off.
Cordless phones, phones via a switchboard, normal internet and email are likely to fail immediately. Mobile phone cell sites [2 hrs], battery satellite phones [5 hrs]. However it is anticipated that arrangements put in place by the Merseyside Resilience Forum, Blue light, and other partners will cope with these three hour geographically rotated power disconnections. Airwave has adequate contingency fallback provision.
RAYNET provides resilient PBR Repeaters [auto 3+ hrs backup] and equipment for the Local Authorities and the Merseyside Resilience Forum Partners [12v / vehicle pwr backup]. RAYNET Control has 24/7/365 [12v and mains backup], and copper wire to PSTN telephone landline [8+ days].
RAYNET provision is built into the Merseyside Resilience Plan and we have access to contact details for all the appropriate agencies. If required to do so RAYNET will operate a controlled net for themselves and convergent radio amateurs offering their services.
If activated Merseyside RAYNET will provide a daily bulletin, and contact point for other Radio Amateurs on Merseyside [144.650 MHz at 8.00am UK clock-time every morning]. Operational nets will be allocated other frequencies. 144.650 will be the equivalent of an emergency traffic calling channel.
For further details please contact Alec G8WHR the County Co-ordinator through via the Contact Merseyside Raynet page.
Each distribution area across the UK is split into 18 geographical BLOCKS and each is assigned an alphabetic letter. Each day of the week is split into 8 three hour SLOTS. The first slot of a day starts at 06:30. The blocks are allocated to the slots in such a way as to allow businesses to operate as normally as possible for 3 days in succession. This means that power cuts will either be concentrated between Monday and Wednesday or Thursday and Saturday with Sunday being shared between all blocks.
You can find out your Rota Load Disconnection Block letter on your electricity bill under the address, or by visiting: https://www.powercut105.com. Scroll down to Find your network operator and enter the two halves of your post code.
In the event of a Rota Load Disconnection the Schedule of Rota Load Disconnections will be published 24 hours ahead through National & Local TV and/or Radio Stations. You will also be able to access these at https://www.powercut105.com
At the lowest level of emergency, you could expect to be without electricity for just three 3 hour slots in a week. However, if there is a severe shortage of electricity, you may be without supply for several slots in a week.
In the extremely unlikely event that these and other measures fail, the UK mainland power network could have to recover from a total or widespread shutdown of the entire UK mainland power network – known as a Black Start. Only a few power stations have the ability to ‘start up’ without the need for external power from the Grid and a longer Black Start schedule will therefore be needed.