The Estonian Rescue Board warned on Saturday that changing weather conditions could cause further power cuts and advised people to take precautions to ensure they are prepared in case of disruptions.
According to the Environment Agency's weather forecast, temperatures in Estonia will start to rise on Saturday, while there is also the possibility of freezing rain and increasing winds in some areas.
"Trees breaking due to the weight of the snow have been giving rescue workers a hard time over the past few weeks. As the snow melts, it will become even heavier, breaking trees and branches, and could cause further power cuts, as well as increasing the risk of slippery roads," said Leho Lemsalu of the Rescue Board, in a press release.
In order to survive the power cuts, the Rescue Board recommends families stocking up on food and drinking water at home, as well as back-up cooking equipment such as a camping stove. As for light sources, battery-powered torches are considered preferable to candles. However, those who do opt to use open flames during power cuts, should do so in a way that takes into account all relevant safety regulations and precautions.
To prepare for a potential power cut, or in the event of one occurring, the Rescue Board provides the following guidelines:
- Stock your home with enough drinking water, medicines and food to last at least seven days for you and your family.
- Ensure that a battery-powered radio and spare batteries are available in your home. Solar-powered batteries or dynamo radios are also suitable. A car radio is also a possible alternative.
- Car owners should keep their vehicles' fuel tank at least half full at all times. Identify the nearest gas stations from which you may be able to purchase additional fuel in the event of a power cut.
- Use alternative sources of electricity (generators, batteries, accumulators, etc.) sparingly and only when absolutely necessary, as this will prolong their lifetime.
- Open the fridge and freezer as infrequently as possible as this will ensure the temperature remains cooler for longer and food will keep better.
- If you are unable to manage your own safely and independently at home in the event of a power cut, go to stay with a relative or ask local authorities for assistance.
- In case of suffering any personal injuries or immediate danger, call the emergency services on 112.
- If your mobile phone service is cut off or interrupted, it is possible to reach 112 by switching the phone off for a short while and then making a call before activating the SIM card. The operator is then able to call back if necessary once coverage becomes available and the SIM card has been reactivated.
- In the event of a power cut, call the Elektrilevi hotline on 1343 or use the MARU online application.
- Report fallen power lines to the emergency services by calling 112.
For a more comprehensive guide on how to be better prepared for possible power cuts, visit the "Ole valmis!" ("Be prepared!") website here or use the app of the same name. Both also provide guidelines for use during a range of different crisis situations. The mobile app can be used without an Internet connection.
The latest weather information can be found here.
Up-to.date information regarding travel and road safety is available here.
Editor: Michael Cole