Power outages can occur at any time and for a variety of reasons: overloaded systems during extreme heat, accidents, bad weather, or natural disasters. Having a plan for before, during, and after an outage will help protect your business.
BEFORE A POWER OUTAGE
Maintain a list all the equipment that will be affected by a power outage. Include computers, phone systems, copiers, heating/cooling, elevators, and alarms. Know whether or not the device has to be turned off during an outage, and how to do so.
Assess the potential impact of a power outage on each system. Prepare backup systems such as battery power or a generator. Maintain several battery-powered radios at your location to stay up-to-date on weather and emergency conditions.
Be sure employees back up their computers frequently to minimize lost data, and ensure that all computers are connected to a surge protector. Protect data servers with a secondary power source.
Engage your employees in emergency preparedness. Be sure each office has flashlights or glow sticks. Assign someone in each department as the emergency coordinator. Make sure all employees know where to gather in the event of a major disaster.
DURING AN OUTAGE
Stay informed about the situation in your area. Follow any directions given by emergency management organizations to ensure the safety of your employees and customers. Keep employees informed about what’s happening in and outside of your business during the outage.
Employ the emergency systems you have in place. Only run generators in a well-ventilated space to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Unplug or turn off equipment identified during your planning stage.
AFTER THE OUTAGE
Check for any visible damage to equipment. Turn on the most essential equipment first and wait 10 – 15 minutes before turning on additional equipment.
Be sure employees are safe and accounted for. Do a thorough check of the building if individuals were separated during the incident.
Review your emergency plan with your team and determine if there are procedures that need to be changed. Discuss what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve your plan.
As an added safety measure, contact an electrician to conduct a maintenance check of your business’s equipment to ensure that all systems are working properly. JM Mullen’s licensed, qualified electricians can help you put together an emergency preparedness plan, and provide you with service after an outage. Contact JM Mullen today for assistance preparing your business for a power outage.