What Should Your Business Do in a Power Outage?
Losing power at your business can be devastating to your bottom line. As a business owner or operator, you rely on utilities like electricity to stay productive and efficient all day long. If calamity strikes and you lose electricity, what should your business do in a power outage? How can you remain in touch with customers and vendors so everyone stays connected?
In an emergency, experts agree that calm and reasoned behavior will keep individuals on an even keel. Effective leadership guides their organizations and employees through positive experiences and negative occurrences like a power loss. By taking the loss of your facility’s power as a serious situation, your business will be well-positioned to resume regular activity when the lights come back on.
Have a Plan
The first step in a power outage is ensuring the safety of your employees and anyone else in your building. Elevators or escalators should not be used. Check the building perimeter to determine the cause of the power loss if possible such as downed power lines.
According to Constellation NewEnergy, businesses of any size or type must have an emergency kit with water, first aid supplies, flashlights, and other basic items. It should be kept in an easy-to-reach place and employees should be trained on where it is and how to use it.
Some other helpful tips include:
- Make sure your phones have the correct battery back up so you can forward your phones to the answering service
- Call your local power company to report the outage
- Turn off all surge protectors and turn off equipment to prevent damage
Preparation and planning are vital for a successful reaction to a power outage. However, having key personnel knowing their assignments and methodically practicing for such an event can provide a smooth are reassuring presence in the office.
Prepare in Advance
Asking what your business should do in a power outage should begin well before the lights go out. While all businesses, whether restaurants, brick-and-mortar retailers, e-commerce retailers, professional services companies and more should tailor a power-outage preparedness strategy for their respective realities, but according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, these power outage tips can be adapted for use by most business types.
- Understand what aspects of your business would be most critically affected due to power disruption. Could you remain open? Take an inventory of your facility, staff, equipment and business procedures to create your plan.
- Meet with your business insurance provider about coverage protection in the event of a power outage. Update your preparedness strategy if needed. Have a hard copy of your policy stored in an easily accessible place that doesn’t require power to open.
- Set your computer systems to frequently auto-save and perform server backups. If you work in a cloud-based system such as Google Drive, tasks in progress are likely already being auto-saved.
- Depending on your type of business and its location, consider a commercial generator. Be sure to keep plenty of fuel close-by and test it (at minimum) every six months to ensure it’s ready to work. We recommend checking your generator on a weekly basis.
- Back up key data daily. Export key reports such as sales, customer data, vendor orders, accounts payable/receivable, and employee timesheets to a cloud-based system.
- Prepare an emergency kit large enough to assist more than one person at a time. Your kit should include flashlights, headlamps, extra batteries, a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, a battery-powered or hand-cranked AM/FM radio and safety gear like gloves and masks.
- Keep a listing of important telephone numbers in an easy-to-find place. Employees, vendors, key customers, the insurance company, your bank, and utility companies are all useful phone numbers to have access to in an emergency or disruption.
Keep the Phones Ringing
Power outages need not completely shut down any business. Modern technologies like cloud computing and virtual receptionists can maintain your business operations sufficiently during the delay to not lose customers or profits.
Voice Link is the perfect solution to what your business should do in a power outage to stay connected with customers and clients. Virtual receptionist services like Voice Link help prevent any downtime in client operations by becoming your outlet to the outside world. Voice Link can answer the phones for you during a power outage, so your clients won’t even know that there was an issue at your office.