Posted by : Amanda Stein Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Operating a business means that you have to prepare for the worst – and that includes any potential power outages. You may think that a power outage may not seem like it can cause that much damage – but you would be wrong. A power outage can cause a short circuit – which could end up frying your electronics if they are not properly protected. It could also result in data loss. Not to mention the fact that without power, your company most likely cannot operate. This means that you are losing business the entire time that the power is out.

Still think that a power outage wouldn’t be a big deal for your company? Does a power outage sound like it could actually lead to a pretty nice day off for your company? Think again. According to a recent report on power outage statistics, “more than a third of companies take longer than a day to recover from a sustained outage, and one in ten take more than a week.” It goes on to explain that “one-third of those same companies lose up to a half million dollars per power failure.” So, as a business owner, you definitely want to do everything in your power to help protect your company in case of a power outage.

To help you out, the following are 7 precautions that you can take in order to help protect your business in the event of a power outage:

1. Surge Protectors

Surge protectors aren’t very expensive, and they are invaluable to protecting your electronics from any surges in electrical power or transient voltage that often accompany a power outage. Standard voltage for most buildings is 120 volts, which means that if a surge boosts the voltage any higher than that it can damage anything that is plugged into your outlets. A surge protector will channel any extra voltage into the grounding wire of the outlet, thereby preventing it from reaching the electronic devices that are plugged in.

2. Uninterruptible Power Supply

This electrical device will provide you with emergency power if the main power is interrupted or just fails completely. An uninterruptible power supply will help to save your data by allowing your computer systems to run without interruption during a power outage. It will also help protect your electronics from surges. Most uninterruptible power supplies will allow computers to run for an additional 10 to 25 minutes after the power has gone out – giving you plenty of time to save your data and properly shut down your computer system.

3. Emergency Power Generator

If a long term interruption of power can cause serious issues with running and maintaining business operations, you may want to consider an emergency power generator that runs on gasoline or diesel fuel. These do cost a lot to own and operate, meaning that smaller businesses may be better off waiting for the power to return.

4. Emergency Supplies

Part of protecting your company in the case of a power outage also includes protecting your employees. There should always be an emergency kit available for your employees. Getting around in the dark can be dangerous after all – not to mention that someone might accidentally hurt themselves. An emergency kit should include flashlights, additional batteries, a first aid kit and other tools. The more employees you have, the more emergency kits you should have.

5. Emergency Exit Strategy

You should come up with a strategy for leaving the building in the event of a blackout so that employees won’t panic. Panicking can result in employees potentially hurting themselves. The strategy should include how to reach your emergency kits if they are needed, what exits should be used and where to meet outside. It’s a good idea to designate specific employees to go get the emergency kits and to be in charge of smaller groups.

6. Work Strategy

You should have a plan in place in the event that the power remains off for a long period of time. If there is no power for a period of days, it could really hurt your business. Figure out a way where your employees can do work from home or meet in another location so that your business doesn’t come to a grinding halt.

7. Protect Your Files
If you are an internet-based company, you will also need to make sure to have protection for all of your company files. Have regular file backups in place so that if your company files are ever lost due to a power outage, that you will have an easy way to recover them. This will help your company for a much more painless and seamless startup after your power is restored.

About the Author: Nicole is a writer for the business management industry. She enjoys helping business owners learn more ways to better succeed and find longevity in their competitive markets. To help protect her company in the case of power outages, she purchased generators from Able Sales Generators.

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