CIVIC chiefs have joined forces with bosses from the region’s energy operator to find ways of preventing power loss for Hampshire homes during emergency situations.

Southampton City Council’s emergency planning team and Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD) are working together to help residents in a crisis situation, such as flooding.

SEPD is responsible for maintaining the network of poles, overhead wires, underground cables and substations that carry power to households and businesses across Hampshire.

Both parties visited each other’s local offices to better understand working practices. It comes after freak storms in winter last year saw thousands of homes without power for days as parts of Hampshire were underwater through heavy rain and high tides.

Vic Meyers, who manages the SEPD Control Centre in Cosham, said the meeting was “invaluable” for future emergency plans.

He said: “We invest millions of pounds every year to make the electricity infrastructure as robust and resilient as possible. This means that an increasing amount of equipment on our network can be operated remotely from our control centre, which minimises the length of time a customer’s power may be offNevertheless, there are occasions beyond our control when the power goes off, such as a storm, and so it’s really important that we can work quickly and effectively.”

Ian Collins, head of emergency planning at Southampton City Council, said: “It is important that all agencies understand each other’s procedures and priorities to ensure the best possible response is provided to the public in the event of an emergency.”