According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), about 70 percent of businesses will experience a power outage in the next year- and this prediction does not consider recent (and anticipated) power outages due to PGE’s new Public Safety Power Shutoff Events designed to reduce fire risk in certain weather conditions. These outages (weather event plus restoration time) could last longer than 48 hour. For planning purposes, PG&E suggests customers prepare for outages that could last several days.
Unfortunately, these power outages can significantly disrupt business operations and affect profitability, especially if the power outage is long-term. Fortunately, business owners can take steps to prepare for outages and reduce the negative impacts.
Before an outage.
Build an emergency kit that includes a first aid kit, a tool kit, blankets, flashlights with extra batteries, a list of important phone numbers, and a detailed floor plan of your office that shows the emergency exits and the shutoff points for gas, water and electricity.
Create a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) that outlines how you can continue to operate during an outage.
Train your employees to ensure they know how to keep themselves and customers/clients safe during an outage and run regular practice drills with your staff to ensure the plan works in reality.
Get power surge protectors to protect equipment from damaging power surges when the power is turned back on.
Install smoke detectors (absolutely).
Follow shutoff event updates and sign up for outage alerts.
If finances allow:
install commercial sprinkler systems on every floor of your business
Invest in a backup generator and learn how to use it before an outage. Develop maintenance, operation and fueling plans to ensure the generator is ready for use when needed.