As we head into fall, now is the perfect time to assess your business’ emergency response plan in the event of a power outage due to inclement weather. You can’t afford the downtime, loss of productivity and loss of revenue that a power outage would force. Thus, you need to ensure your company is well prepared in the event you lose power, no matter what industry you’re in.
Invest in a Generator
First and foremost, you have to ensure you can keep your business running if the power goes out. To fail to prepare for this eventuality – which is a certainty at some point during the winter – is downright foolish. Do your research on generators in Alberta to determine which price, model, capacity and type would best suit your needs.
Before an Outage
Before an outage even hits, you need to set up a plan that you can enact at a moment’s notice if need be. Here are some guidelines:
- Know your building: Know the location of your generator, fuse boxes, electric service entrance, emergency lighting systems, and portable lamps, flashlights and batteries.
- Know your equipment: Compile a list of equipment you will need to turn off during an outage and reset when power is restored. Contact other service providers (such as phone, security and fire) for information on how those systems will work in the event of an outage.
- Have a plan in place: Develop a preparedness plan that outlines the operational tasks and responsibilities of your staff members. Identify what you will need for backup electrical generation and battery systems. Run regular tests of your backup battery systems. Make sure you have a list of emergency telephone numbers handy.
- Prepare an emergency kit: Keep it in an easy-to-find location.
- Prepare your employees: Make sure they know what is expected of them during a power outage.
During an Outage
During an outage, it’s important to remain calm and keep a clear head so you can set your emergency plan into action seamlessly.
- Determine whether the problem is limited to your building or electrical system by checking in on nearby businesses.
- Report the outage with your utility company.
- Implement your preparedness plan.
- Turn on your generator if it didn’t kick on automatically.
- Turn off equipment and appliances to prevent damage to your equipment when power is restored.
Put safety first when waiting for power to be restored. Allow ample time for your utility company to check the overall system and repair damage to generating stations, transmission lines and sub-stations.
Once power is restored, first switch on the most essential equipment, waiting 15 minutes or so before reconnecting other equipment. You don’t want to overload the electrical system and cause more problems.