Scotland Storm
5th December 2013

Report on Haste’s Mobilisation, Welfare Bus & 3 kw Generator service - Inverness/Perth/Oban

Figure 1 – meteorological synopsis for UK 5th Dec 2013


The storm hit early Thursday morning (5th December 2013), and affected a great swathe of Scotland.

Haste had taken the precaution of mobilising 10 men and 2 Welfare buses the previous afternoon. In the immediate aftermath SSEPD estimated that across Scotland, there were -

  • over 300 HV faults
  • around 800 breaks in conductors
  • 80,000 customers off power.

By Thursday afternoon under Mo MacDougall’s direction Haste had split into two teams of 5 men with 6 generators & 1 welfare bus per team. One team headed north to Inverness where Mo directed operations. The other team operated out of the Perth & Kinross area under SSE Perth’s supervision before moving to the Oban area on Saturday.

The two teams were tasked with providing 3 kw generation to vulnerable customers and general welfare to the pockets of communities off power.

Figure 2 – High winds caused extensive damage (HV pole blown over)

Figure 3 – Bradley & Ben with storm damaged tree near Inverness (the tree is the brown barkie thing to the left of Ben!)


147 – Customers engaged by Haste operatives
27 – Food packs distributed to vulnerable customers
130 – Hot drinks served
18 – Total 3 kw generators were made available
12 – 3 kw generators were installed
(and fuelled / refuelled / decommissioned)
1 – Cut-out fire visited / assessed (in Wester Balgedie)
15 – houses affected by high earth volts (in Taynuilt) were visited on Sunday

Extracts from the diary

Thurs 5th Dec @ 10am
On standby in Glasgow when Mo called with our orders - We are to…. Source 12 generators Split into two teams (6 generators and 5 men per team) Send one team to Inverness to be directed by Mo Other team to be directed by SSE Perth. Here we go, hold on to your hats!........

Thurs 5th Dec @ 3pm
Call from SSE Perth to move bus from Kippen to Gartochan…. Arrived to find the whole town off power! Setup at Millennium Hall Car park. Engaged with approx. 20 customers. Provided 20 drinks & biscuits, charged 4 phones & 2 laptops, filled 3 hot water bottles, provided Wi-Fi for 4 customers to check emails. Happy bunch considering the freezing cold conditions, we can no longer feel our pinkies! Left Gartochan at 2145hrs once power restored.

Fri 6th Dec @ 10am
Bus arrived at Deanstown (whole town off power, including the whisky distillery which is beyond my comprehension and should never be allowed!). Set up in Main St. Engaged with approx. 20 customers, provided 18 drinks and biscuits, charged 5 phones, filled 2 hot water bottles, heated 2 baby’s bottles. Tried to help a row of houses (all O.A.P.s) but they were all proudly independent and refused all offers despite our protests & insistence!

Fri 6th Dec @ 12.20pm
Richard Westwood SSE Perth asked for a generator and food packs to be dispatched to Invervar Cottage. We arrived and completed the task by 2.50pm. Customer very pleased as the generator meant the family could heat and light up their home. The food went down well too…. Indeed they were surprised at the variety of meals we carried with us.

Saturday 7th Dec @ 3.30pm
Arrived in Stroanmilichan as directed by Neil Wilson SSE Oban. Identified a vulnerable couple who surprise surprise refused all offers of help! We insisted and despite their continued stance made the couple soup which they eventually accepted and afterwards told us how much they appreciated the hot meal! Assisted linesman with passing on info. along the road with respect to power down / power up timings.

Saturday 7th Dec @ 5pm
Dispatched to Glen Etive. Arduous death defying drive along the sinuous single tracked road, whereupon we found that all power was actually on all the way down the 6 mile glen! Persuaded our trembling welfare bus driver to get back into the driver’s seat and once more face the abysmal drops to the river below, and return back to Oban. On a positive note the dreadful gloom of this night shielded the most treacherous precipitous gullies from our eyes.

Figure 4 – Welfare bus parked at Ardanaiseig Hotel near Oban (Sat 7th Dec)

Figure 5 – Line down but not out near Kilchrenan (Sat 7th Dec)

Figure 6 – The team in Auchterarder (Fri 6th Dec)

Figure 7 – Cutout fire in Wester Balgedie (Thurs 5th Dec)

If you would like further information regarding Incident management or any service offered by Haste find out more by contacting any of the team at or view the Haste website at

01730 897 100

December 2013

© Haste Limited 2013