Receiving an early-morning text message informing me that there has been a power cut at The National Archives and that our Major Incident Management Team (MIMT) is being mobilised is not my favourite way to start the day, but that is exactly what happened last week.
At about 04:00 there was a power fault in the local area which plunged The National Archives and the surrounding houses into darkness. UK Power Networks (UKPN) was able to switch over to the back-up circuit and power was restored to the area soon afterwards, with one exception â€“ The National Archives. UKPN was having difficulty switching us over to the back-up circuit. Engineers with torches strapped to their heads arrived in the dark and peered into the local sub-station, where the breaker wasnâ€™t behavingâ€¦.
Our head of estates (in his role as incident manager) had put in a call to UKPN, which indicated that engineers were on their way to our building, and power should be restored very soon. In the meantime our back-up generator was keeping our website and other essential services up and running, including the buildingâ€™s emergency lighting. When power had not been restored an hour later we had to put our incident plans into action, with MIMT members summoned for a meeting at 07:00. Continue reading »