Be Prepared!

The Scouts use this motto for a very good reason. As we witness the recent fires and hurricanes, this needs to serve as a reminder that you need to “be prepared” in the case of an emergency. Here in California, we are always aware, the BIG ONE (earthquake) is coming. Even the high temperatures have caused problems such as brown outs or blackouts. Below you will find some hints on what to do in the event of a power outage. Please use these as a reminder of how you need to BE PREPARED at your businesses.

Have A Business Emergency/Continuity Plan  This plan should not only incorporate what to do in the event of a power outage but also include steps to be taken in the event of other disasters. You need to discuss this plan with all your employees and keep it accessible in the event of an emergency. It is possible you will not be at the business when the unthinkable occurs and you may not be able to reach your business by phone as well. Your employees must know what to do. The plan should be reviewed with them regularly.

Have A Battery-Powered Radio Or Television – This is the only way you will be able to monitor the news and official announcements during the outage.

Install Emergency Lights That Turn On When The Power Goes Out – We have several of these at our house. They are inexpensive and very necessary. Plug them in around your plant. In addition, flashlights are necessary. Flashlights should also be put in various areas of your business. When I owned my dry cleaning business, I thought I was so prepared until the power went out at night in the dark. Sure, I had flashlights but they were at the front end of the shop and I was at the back end. That is when I found dark is really dark! I was glad I was there, not just the employees.

Make Sure The Outage Does Not Create A Security Risk – You can check with your local police department for their advice on what the best plan would be. Since most businesses now are computerized, it might be best to lock the doors until the power restarts. Customers will understand. And what about any customers that are in your shop? Make it clear to your employees what needs to be done.

Use UL Listed Surge Protectors For Your Computers – I am sure everyone does this but let it serve as a reminder. Also, review which pieces of your equipment should be turned to the off position. Electrical surges or spikes may occur when the power is restored. This could cause major damage to your equipment.

Keep Extra Water On Hand – Whatever the disaster may be, you will not know how long you may be confined to your business. You need to have water available for your staff and any customers who may be sharing your space.

When The Power Is Back On – Wait about 10 minutes before reconnecting your equipment. You want to give the system time to stabilize.

These are just a few tips that are simple but sometimes we all need a little nudge to remind us what needs to be done.