Households should stock up on candles and battery-powered radios in case a catastrophe cripples digital gadgets, the deputy prime minister has warned.

Oliver Dowden urged people to prepare for being thrown back to an ‘analogue’ era if internet and power systems collapse.

Details will be set out in an official government ‘resilience website’ – launching next year – which will offer advice on how to prepare for natural disasters, pandemics and malicious acts such as cyber attacks or terrorism.

Mr Dowden suggested people had become too reliant on the internet which could leave them isolated in an information vacuum during a disaster. ‘It always used to be the case that everyone would be able to access a battery-operated radio,’ Mr Dowden said.

‘How many people have a communication device that isn’t reliant on digital and electric? We shouldn’t assume that the resilience we had as individuals when we were growing up is the same now because society has digitised.’

In the past it was common to keep ‘a torch or candles’ in the cupboard under the stairs. But society had ‘changed unrecognisably’ in the past 20 or 30 years, Mr Dowden said, adding: ‘The Government needs to ensure we are resilient in this digital age – including considering those analogue capabilities that it makes sense to retain.

Read more: DailyMail