WITH snow and strong winds forecast for the Borders, ScottishPower has issued some top tips on how to stay safe and connected in the event of a power outage.

Sleet showers are expected this afternoon, which will then turn into snow by 6pm.

And Scottish Borders council says gritters have been on the roads since 1.30 this afternoon.

Strong winds are also forecast and SP Energy, who is part of ScottishPower says it's best to be prepared in the event of a power cut.

Guy Jefferson, Director, SP Energy Networks, said: “Although power cuts are rare events for most people, it makes sense to be prepared just in case. 

"If there is a power outage, our team of engineers are on hand to fix faults and get people’s power supply back as soon as possible. 

"Our customer service team also work around the clock to keep residents informed, provide advice and take reports of power loss - the quicker we are alerted to a power cut, the quicker we can respond."

SP Energy Networks is offering the following advice to ensure residents across the region are prepared in the event of a power cut:

· Keep the SP Energy Networks and new national 105 helpline numbers close to hand - it’s best to keep this information handy or saved in the contacts on your mobile phone. The SP Energy Networks helpline is 0800 092 9290.

· Keep your mobile charged – if your mobile is out of battery or signal, it’s worth having an analogue phone as this doesn’t run off the main electricity supply. Remember, the 105 national helpline number and the SP Energy Networks number completely free to call.

· Keep a battery powered torch handy – you can use this to check on the fuse box and make your way around the house safely.

· Avoid leaving your fridge or freezer open – they will remain cold for a considerable amount of time when power is off. However, it’s best to minimise the amount of times you open the door.

· Unplug powered equipment – this includes electrical appliances such as your TV and laptop, as well as heaters, electric fires and cookers which you may forget about when power is restored. 

· Priority Service Register – if electricity is crucial to your health (for instance, if you use medical equipment at home) ask to be included on our priority service register. This way if your power is off we can make sure you are supported.