Steps Every Small Business Should Take in a Power Outage
Power outages can ruin your day. If you are a small business owner, it’s necessary to act quickly to protect personnel, customers, and inventory from harm. Before the next power outage rolls into town, we recommend developing a plan to help you shut down, lockdown, and reopen as soon as possible.
Before a Power Outage Strikes
An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. Before a power outage strikes, it is advisable to review your power outage response plan. Make sure that the plan takes into account specific shut down procedures for your equipment and vital systems.
You will want to make sure that all surge protectors and uninterruptable power supplies are correctly installed and rated for the equipment and computers they are intended to protect. Likewise, you should regularly inspect your backup generator and follow all manufacturer maintenance recommendations.
When the lights go off, personnel and customers should be your top priority. Make sure that emergency lighting systems are functioning and safely evacuate non-essential personnel and customers from the building. This helps secure the structure and can protect your business from theft and legal liability should someone stumble and fall in the dark.
Once you clear the facility, contact your utility provider to report the outage. You will also want to make sure that employees turn off and disconnect any equipment to prevent damage. This is especially important for sensitive equipment that could suffer irreparable harm if a power surge occurs.
If you have a retail establishment that sells food products, you will want to make sure that freezers and coolers are sealed tight. Since there is no way of knowing how long the power outage will last, it is the best way to protect frozen foods, dairy, and meat products from spoilage. If you have a emergency power generator you will be unaffected by the outtage.
As with computers and other equipment, it is advisable to have multiple people check doors and machinery to ensure it is in the “off” position and sealed shut. This redundancy helps ensure that nothing gets missed during the confusion a power outage can create. With emergency power generation equipment this minimizes the downtime of equipment.
When the Power Returns
When the lights come back on, it is vital to check your computers, appliances, and other equipment for signs of damage. Follow all restart procedures specified by the manufacturer. If the equipment is damaged or fails to operate as designed, cease using the device until it can undergo proper service.
Finally, assess what worked and what didn’t. Adjust your power outage response plan to include the lessons learned. Make sure that managers and other key personnel understand what is required and expected should another outage occur.
Contact Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists at (800) 625-8324 for more information about the steps we recommend taking in blackout or brownout. Our experts can help you develop a plan that is customized for your specific needs.