Now that spring has sprung, unpredictable weather issues and associated power outages are sure to follow. In addition to this, short-term issues such as downed power lines, blown transformers, and internal wiring and electrical problems may result in power outages. Regardless of the culprit, no business is capable of surviving prolonged periods of time without having electricity. You must have a plan in place that aids in your preparation for a power outage. In this brief guide, we will highlight certain strategies that will help your business properly prepare for the unfortunate experience of power interruptions.
The Continuity Plan
One of the first steps to helping your business prepare for a power outage is to create a continuity plan. These plans are designed to aid your business during unforeseen events and emergencies. In short, it is a “what if” type of plan. All employees should be gathered and items/functions should be discussed and outlined that must be covered during a power outage. Then, measures must be taken to ensure that coverage. The following outlines questions that should be answered to create a successful business continuity plan when preparing for power outages:
- What functions must be completely covered to ensure continual operation of your business?
- Which personnel members will be required for those functions?
- Does your business have any potential issues with spoilage?
- Are there any risks associated with data storage that could be impacted by a power outage?
- Are employees able to work from home during a power outage? If so, do they have the necessary equipment?
Backup Generator System
If you have a business that is heavily dependent upon electricity – such as a restaurant, a bakery, a store that carries cold food products and beverages -you should have a backup generator system installed. If your business is located in a region that is known for severe weather conditions -such as blizzards and tropical storm systems -this is an absolute must.
The size of the generator will be dependent upon the watts of power that will be needed to successfully operate your business during a power outage. You should contact a commercial electrician to help you make this determination.
Types of Commercial Generators Available
Generally speaking – after determining the size of generator that your business requires -you will need to determine which fuel source is best suited for your needs. The following outlines the three most popular types of generators available, in terms of fuel choice:
- Natural Gas -This is the most recommended option because of the fact that the fuel does not actually have to be stored at your business. In addition to this, it is available everywhere and highly affordable.
- Diesel – Many businesses choose diesel fuel backup generator systems because of its level of efficiency, the fact that it is easy to maintain, and very cheap to run.
- Combination -Many backup business generators are combo-fuel. This means that they run on both natural gas and diesel fuel. During major disasters and power outages that are extensive, this is a highly flexible and productive option.
Backup Battery Systems
There are certain types of systems and components of your business that may successfully run on backup battery systems during a power outage. Examples include emergency lighting, systems that offer fire protection, and even security systems.
If you have a commercial electrician put these in place, be certain to have the battery systems properly maintained and regularly inspected.
In addition to these systems, there are many battery-powered devices that should be integrated into your business. Examples include flashlights, fans, and similar items. Be certain to regularly test these items to ensure successful operation when needed.
Outage Supply Kit and Checklist
You should keep emergency outage supplies in your business at all times. These include emergency phone numbers, kits designed to administer first aid, portable lighting systems, a general toolkit for emergencies, and related items.
The outage checklist should include a floor plan of your business that outlines the emergency shut-off systems for your electricity, gas supply, water, fire suppression unit, security system, and similar items. A commercial electrician will be able to help you outline what your business needs in terms of outage supplies and related items.
We Can Help
We here at Hardcore Electric can assist you in ensuring that your business is properly prepared for a power outage. We offer many services that will ensure your business is thoroughly protected in the event of an emergency. Examples include electric additions, wiring and repair services, testing and troubleshooting, generator panel service, emergency lighting systems, security systems, and more! If you would like to learn more or to schedule an emergency power plan consultation, you may contact us today by calling: 720-841-3897