ELSTEAD NEWS Website Storm Survey Results from December 31st to January 26th.

 This survey was run on the ELSTEAD NEWS website from December 31st to collect information on how people were affected by the power cuts in Elstead over Christmas.

There have been 57 responses so far.

The results are not statistically significant, as the people who have responded do not represent a random sample of Elstead residents. However they do give a fairly accurate picture of the type of problems that many people in Elstead met and in most cases solved.

The ideas put forward could in many cases be useful in dealing with future crises and some people believe that some sort of official or voluntary organisation could make things easier next time.


1.  Did you have any problems as a result of the recent storm in Elstead?

• Risk of serious injury:                                                                                       3
• Flooding:                                                                                                         11
• No emergency lighting:                                                                                    26
• House telephone failure:                                                                                 30
• Mobile phone failure:                                                                                       43
• No cooking facility:                                                                                           35
• Ran out of food:                                                                                                4
• Did you have to eat out:                                                                                   16
• Shopping problem:                                                                                             5
• Frozen food spoiled:                                                                                         47
• Elderly or sick care:                                                                                            7
• Transport difficulty:                                                                                            10
• Were you helped by somebody in Elstead:                                                         5
• Did you leave Elstead and stay away:                                                                15
• Did you help a neighbour:                                                                                  22
• Do you belong to a voluntary organisation, if so which?:                                     3
• Would you volunteer to help in future? If so please give contact details.:          14

Do you have any comments or ideas on how we could improve our response to any future crisis?



WebMaster on 2013-12-31 19:15

A more organised local response.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 00:59

southern electric need to give us proper updates and information, they tell us that there is a catering truck, but there no way to find this out with no internet! internet=power...

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 07:44

Would be useful perhaps to have a central village emergency coordinator and a meeting place to go to when things go wrong for those who can get there. Perhaps also a system of localised reps who can give & receive information to and from those in their area. Maybe even a storage facility for emergency products, such as blankets, torches, radios etc. Thank you!

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 07:58

Community generator lighting village hall somewhere for people to go.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 09:13

Most issues experienced would be easily avoided with a robust, redundant, diversely routed electricity supply - ie ability to feed village from different directions so that if one route is damaged, power can easily be switched over to an alternative route

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 10:52

A well understood system of disseminating information about help available. More sustainable electric power supply - after the storms of 1987 and 1990 the reliability improved dramatically. That has been lost in the past few years. But also celebrate the community spirit and assistance over the past week.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 11:14

Maybe there needs to be a central hub for information. So people who need help or can offer assistance can get in touch. Also we can find out anything relevant like closed roads ect. (Sorry if this already exists. If so it needs advertising! )

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 11:19

A list of people to call on who may need help and who will call them (ie elderly/ sick who are totally dependent on electric) list of people with: - generators - emergency lighting - chain saws - gas camping stoves ....

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 11:28

This was an extraordinary event. As long as the elderly and those needing support are supported, everyone else can just "get some team spirit" and get on with it! So the focus should be on supporting the needy only.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 12:58

Might be useful to have a recognised physical and central location such as the Spar notice board where any news/updates could be posted. I'm not sure who would post the information though. Perhaps any residents with confirmed and relevant news?

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 17:00

Some way of telling people what's going on! eg. most people did not know that food was being provided on the green because they had no communication methods. Maybe a cascading door to door system could be initiated - eg. everyone tells their nearest 10 neighbours.

Richard Rees on 2014-01-01 21:25

Community email and shared mobile and landline numbers with addresses for those willing to volunteer to help with emergency support especially for elderly or those requiring medical assistance. I am happy to be part of such a group Richard Rees

Anonymous User on 2014-01-01 23:06

Pressure on power companies to survey overhead power lines and derisk them to avoid future problems. Improve drainage and flow of river wey. Could some volunteering from local residents be organised? Encourage everyone to keep their lawns and do not concrete their gardens, every bit of soak away helps. Maybe appoint local flood champions who can be a local source of help and info for people stranded. Use local press (farnham herald, elstead news and website) to promote, and educate, provide emergency numbers.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-02 08:09

Perhaps people like local Councillors could be recalled so that we could contact them in this type of situation, the worst thing was not knowing what was happening and having no-one to call for advice.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-02 09:46

Could open up the village hall and provide warmth and shelter to the elderly members of the village. Have a generator located in the village hall in order to keep people warm and with light.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-02 15:42

Without mobile reception or power, it was difficult to find the numbers to contact the electricity companies (especially as we're all online billing now). Eagle radio rather unhelpfully kept reporting the website address without actually telling us the telephone number! A friend of ours gave us a number they got from the scottish and southern website which turned out to be a recorded message saying "we're closed, if you have a supply problem, please contact your local distributor"..which was bemusing. He also noticed the note on the website saying hot food was being served on thursley road which we hadn't heard about on the radio(our only way to get news). We were lucky because we hadn't planned a turkey on christmas day so the BBQ came into its own and nothing was spoiled.. I noticed today that an awful lot of water gushes out of a culvet/outlet at federal mogul behind a south west water enclosure directly down the entrance drive onto the road just before summerset bridge which leads to additional flooding on the road.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-02 17:38

Too many short power cuts as well as the long ones tuned Xmas and new year

Anonymous User on 2014-01-02 17:53

1.Would it be possible to collect details of properties in the area(and publicise this) where there is emergency power and/or generator available to recharge vital medical equipment such as ventilators etc. We had to drive to Woking and Liphook to recharge at family/friends. Many thanks. 2. Most people are very friendly in the village and help out neighbours but a proper emergency action plan would be good to ensure no-one falls through the net. Perhaps suggest street emergency co-ordinators. 3. advice on the purchase and use of generators would be helpful as we are certainly considering after the last power cut - we were worried that our ceiling hoist would run out of charge - fortunately it just lasted by reducing usage to bear minimum.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-02 19:42

If we had know the extent of the problem and the timescale I could have arranged for the fish to be saved.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-03 16:42

Sine communication from power company. Putting it on their web site is totally useless when you have no power therefore no internet and no mobile phone or laptop battery left Also no provisoIon of food etc despite what SSE claim on their website

Anonymous User on 2014-01-03 17:30

Infomation being more readliy available on sources not requiring the internet would be handy, such as notices on Spar notice board, Village hall window, United reform church notice board, and in all the pubs. Apparently there was a hot meal available on the green which no one in Hope Street new about! ( can only attest to our lanes knowledge of course )

Anonymous User on 2014-01-07 22:18

My job is as a police emergency planning officer in the metropolitan police if I can help you with this let me know. I know the environment agency have a project for flood wardens, also perhaps consider posting laminated updates or general updates during an incident in parts of the village, e.g. Outside doctors surgeries , bus stops, schools, pharmacy, all versioned and dated. consider a general leaflet on precautions in the event of adverse weather . My email is s.barclay1@btinternet, as stated happy to help. Always have a fallback don't just rely on technology

Anonymous User on 2014-01-08 21:55

We had only moved to elstead on the 13/12/13 so this was a shock to us, seeing all the water over our drive & having no power for over3 days. We saw no emergency vehicles around until Boxing Day. Being Xmas I think they probably did the best they could

Steve Carpenter on 2014-01-13 14:39

I think the issue with respect to the power supply is one of prevention. We need to know specifically what caused the power supply to fail to Elstead and the Parish and or Waverley Councils need to liaise with SSE to reduce the possibility of such an event happening again. For example, if the problem was caused by falling trees hitting the power lines why can the trees not be cut back so that if they were to fall they would not strike a power line

Anonymous User on 2014-01-13 14:51

Can you find a way to get many more people to consult the Elstead section of the Facebook site. I think this is the way to go as communication is vital in a crisis. Perhaps ads in the Parish Magazine, an article in Farnham Herald etc.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-13 15:32

check isolated, or elderly, are not reliant on mobiles (bad reception locally) or on remote phones (don't work when there is a power cut). Best buy? Head torch (leaves hands free)

Anonymous User on 2014-01-13 20:37

Extra bin collection for fridge and freezer content that had to be thrown Sway. It started to rot in garage as bin was full due to Xmas collections etc. Not nice!

Anonymous User on 2014-01-15 16:59

Need to knwo who the vulnerable people are, and make sure someone is in touch with their needs - a parish council sponsored committee perhaps. Electricity board needs to get its act together; no good saying 'press button' because old analogue phones won't register.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-16 18:16

Need to find a way to contact households with no phone connections or internet connection with loss of power. Had no idea about the food van on the green - found out about that much later on.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-16 20:13

Pressure SSE to ensure that they make the necessary investments in the electricity supply network - which (despite undertakings) they have patently failed to do!

Anonymous User on 2014-01-16 20:27

Appalled by lack of relevant information from the electricity network company. No idea there was hot food available from van in village on Christmas Day - how were we supposed to know without wi-fi.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-17 08:38

Bulletin board at the village hall with info and updates. Lack of information is a major problem. If parish council can liase with the power company and get proper estimates for repair times, that would be helpful.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-17 15:36

Emails & using the Facebook page are brilliant when we have power. Can there be a system of hand-written posters at key points in the village(e.g. Milford Rd bus stop, Spar, Sports Pavilion) to get important messages out?

Anonymous User on 2014-01-17 18:03

The main concern is the reliance on the internet for information and to communicate. Public radio can only report what it is advised and with no mobile or landline, that's hard to make it specific. What do other countries do ie Australia and recommendations post the Victorian bush Fires a few years ago? For us the other concern is the River, being at Thundry Farm we we're cut off several times in both directions. Perhaps a special page on the Elstead site permanently where locals can record problems and crafty solutions that new families can refer to before a storm or power failure. Maybe the use old fashioned technology like megaphones to share advice around town once other comms go down. Might seem extreme but perhaps we need a small powered boat or access to one locally should the river cut off the roads for several days.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-18 16:26

1. Overhead power delivery will always cause problems in severe weather - are there any plans to route power cables underground in the near future? 2. Not knowing what was happening was a real problem, but no access to phone mobile or internet, so how could SSE keep us informed? 3. Every time our road (Hookley Lane/Silver Birches Way)floods in the heavy rain, water bubbles out of the sewer manhole and into the surface water drain. Reported to Thames Water but they have done nothing.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-19 23:32

Central point for information that is known. We all rely on the internet but we had no power, no mobile signal and no internet. I had a battery powered radio and got sick of being told to go to the website for more details!

Anonymous User on 2014-01-21 11:05

Encourage residents to have at least 1 plug in phone that does not rely on electricity. Nominate a place(s) in the village where updates can be put on a notice board. Insist that the the power companies have a proper customer service information line with regular updates and the opportunity to talk to an individual. The emergency help line was pathetic during the crisis.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-22 08:06

The spring at springfield is continuing to flood orchard close, no one is helping and no 10 is trying to save resident by using a pump but this is not sustainable.no one has bothered from agencies!

Anonymous User on 2014-01-26 17:52

Your survey is missing a question about not being able to heat your home. I expect this was the most pressing problem for most people and the biggest risk to health for the elderly and infirm. SSE cannot expect people to rely on websites and Twitter to get information during a power cut, especially when parts of Elstead have no mobile phone coverage and we are completely reliant on mains-powered broadband to access the Internet. SSE should send people round door-to-door or by car with megaphone if they want to tell us about where we can get hot food.

Anonymous User on 2014-01-26 18:21

We could lobby our politicians to re-nationalise the SSE monopoly so their first priority becomes providing the public with a reliable electricity supply rather than distributing profits to shareholders. That's never going to happen so we are going to have to make our own preparations for the next inevitable power cut. Here are some ideas: Each street to have a rep who is aware of vulnerable residents in the vicinity and any particular needs they may have like medical equipment requiring frequent charging, a cascade system for passing information door-to-door, provision of some central stand-by facilities in the village hall like a generator to provide a warm place where hot food can be provided, and a list of people willing to staff the village hall during a crisis, a list of people with 4x4 vehicles who would be willing to transport people and provisions through flooded roads.