Prepare Your Business for Power Outages
Do you have a plan for workplace safety and operational issues during a power outage? Establishing an emergency response plan helps maintain business continuity and minimize the impact of severe weather and rolling blackouts.
When a power outage takes down your business operations, you need to quickly assess workplace safety concerns, operational issues and emergency response plans. Whether a power outage happens with little warning or as part of planned rolling blackouts, you should be ready to respond and communicate your plan with employees and customers.
It can take days or even weeks to fully restore power in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornadoes or severe winter storms. During the Texas power crisis in February 2021, more than 75% of the state experienced rolling blackouts, and more than 5 million Texans were without power, some for more than three days.
Dealing with blackouts can be a hardship for businesses and communities, but you can minimize the impact with these steps:
- Establish an emergency response team with the responsibility for documenting planning steps and communicating about power outages.
- Determine protocols for business operations during a blackout. Do an inventory of equipment needed for operations and develop a backup plan for powering these items.
- Have backup systems ready to go. Build redundant systems for storing critical information and keep backups of all records in a separate location.
- Encourage employees to keep laptops and mobile devices charged up and have a backup power source ready for charging devices.
- Invest in surge protection for your equipment to avoid damage from sudden changes in voltage.
- Plan ahead for backup power sources. If you plan to use generators, it’s critical to ensure they are operated safety and with proper ventilation.
- Consider relocating staff and operations. Business continuity services can provide backup office spaces or access to generators to keep operations running in your current location.
- Keep an emergency kit on-site with flashlights, a battery powered radio, first aid supplies, extra batteries and other essentials. Visit ready.gov/kit for a complete list.
- Create a communications plan for contacting employees and customers as needed with important updates. Keep a list of important phone numbers in case access to digital contacts is lost.
- Confirm your organization’s contact information with your utility company so you can stay informed about planned power shut-offs and updates on restoring power.
Keep Your Business Running
Having a business continuity plan and executing it quickly can help your business thrive and reopen sooner following a power outage or other disruption. Get started with a toolkit for business continuity planning. Enrolling in online business banking can help ensure continuity of business transactions even when you’re dealing with a power outage.