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Be safe when the lights go out

If, like me, you've been hearing stories about how the UK power grid will hit trouble once this year's forecast hard winter arrives, you might have wondered what you'll do when the promised power cuts come.

Apart from lighting candles and snuggling up with the cat and a good book, you'll probably want to safeguard your computer data. Imagine the scene when your system suddenly shuts off, just as you were nearing the end of that long and carefully crafted letter to the bank manager about why you really need a heated plunge pool.

The same unsettling thought occurred to me. And a few minutes research on various weather and power-related websites made me realise that there is a real threat of our country quite simply running out of electricity at peak times during a prolonged cold snap. We won't go into the complex, and at times unfathomable, reasons for this potential plunge back into the dark ages but, believe me, it's on the cards. The time for action is now and, although I'm normally very security conscious, I confess to being a tad lazy when it comes to considering alternative power supplies. A quick email to my favourite PR person at Belkin was enough to set the wheels in motion and as I write a shiny new Belkin UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) is winging its way to FE towers. I intend to put this little beauty to the test over the next week or so, and will share my findings with anyone who's interested, here, in your favourite blog. Belkin make a range of these devices, and I think they'll be selling quite a few of them in the coming months.

On the subject of power cuts - remind me to tell you the story about how I imported a container-load of candles from Holland during the 1974 power cuts period… everyone was desperate for candles, supplies were exhausted, Holland had plenty, I went to Amsterdam to clinch the deal and make my fortune. See next week's exciting instalment to find out what happened next.

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