Opinion: The aftermath of extreme weather such as Storm Arwen can be tough for many

We’re all guilty of taking for granted the ability to turn on lights and heating with the flick of a switch, not to mention boil a kettle or heat up some food.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 6:16 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 6:16 pm

But of course, the moment there is some form of outage then we begin to appreciate what we have.

Over the weekend many homes across Scotland suffered power cuts thanks to Storm Arwen which blew in on Friday, and also disrupted the transport network.

As I write this four days later and some poor souls in the north east, borders and other parts of the country are facing up to another night with electricity.

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Families in Falkirk had to deal with a major gas outage two years ago

According to energy providers the storm caused “catastrophic damage” to their system and staff are working flat out to make the necessary repairs.

It’s exactly two years since 8000 homes in Falkirk district were left without power for days after a part of the gas network failed.

Provider SGN worked round-the-clock with partners and the local authority to provide people with heaters and hotplates, as well as hot food, until the gas could be restored.

But for many families and individuals it was a very cold and long few days until their homes could be heated again.

Customers were also given compensation for the failure in the local supply.

The thought of recompense will be of little comfort to those currently without power as they struggle to keep their families warm and fed as temperatures fall below zero.

Their situation is also a sobering thought for those of us who may have longed for an “escape to the country” lifestyle: perhaps far easier to live close to family and friends who could provide support in times like these or at least easier for workers to gain access and fix any faults.

How we heat our homes was in the spotlight during COP26 and is certainly an issue we cannot avoid.

Hopefully by doing something now to reduce climate damage and prevent extreme weather it will result in fewer situations that so many found themselves in at the weekend.

And if it also gives us an opportunity to look at alternative heating sources less susceptible to weather conditions that also must be a positive.

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