Power Outage in the Workplace
It’s Friday morning, you arrive at work and are greeted with . . .
“Guess what.! Power is out!”
If this happened at YOUR workplace, which of the following would apply?
- Automatic gates frozen open = no security.
- All interior lights out – halls, closets, bathrooms, stairwells – with the exception of emergency lighting.
- Communications down entirely – no phones, no computers.
- No operational bathrooms.
- UPS systems pinging, pinging, pinging. (How long will they last?)
- No power to the kitchen = no coffee, no microwave.
- Time clocks and timers aren’t working.
- A/C, air handlers off, same with pumps in the basement.
As staff members and employees pull in and start to crowd around the front office . . .
Questions ring out.
- Who’s in charge?
- Don’t we have a generator somewhere?
- What about our neighbors, is their power out, too?
- Has the outage been reported?
- How long will it last?
- Does management know?
- Shouldn’t we turn stuff off so it doesn’t all go on when the power comes back? What was on?
- What about the deliveries we’re expecting?
- I have appointments today. Should I cancel them? Can we meet somewhere else?
- Who’s in charge?
As you can see immediately, a power outage at work can be very different from one at home. And the big difference is YOU NEED TO HAVE PREPARED IN ADVANCE to be able to respond!
Fortunately, there are some excellent resources to help out in this regard. One of the best: Agility Recovery Solutions. Started 25 years ago, now serving businesses of all sizes in 44 states, Agility’s small business “ideal client” is a company with 15-20 employees. (Compare that to most Disaster Recovery companies that provide services only for very large firms — at hefty price tags.) The Agility website’s library is a treasure trove of videos and checklists for every business. The case histories of specific industries (banks, healthcare) are particularly valuable.
Agility has been on my radar for a couple of years now. I’ve attended their training webinars online and talked to several of the sales people, with very useful results.
Three Suggestions for Your Business
Today, I’d like to suggest three things with regards to power outages at work.
- If the questions at the beginning of the blog post hit any nerve at all, head over to Agility and grab their free Power and Generator Checklist. You’ll see a complete list of things to do BEFORE an outage, with specific questions to ask your electrician or electrical contractor. The checklist adds safety recommendations as well as steps to increase security during an outage.
- If you want to learn more about Agility’s service, contact Agility. In just a few minutes you can hear about their services and how they might work for your company. (Be ready with how many locations you have and what recovery arrangements you already have in place.)
- In any case, consider assigning someone from your company to attend the upcoming webinar series being offered by Agility. The webinars are in honor of National Preparedness Month (September, of course!) and will be held on Wednesdays starting next week. Topics: Communications, Power Outage, Prepare your Employees, If you do nothing else . . .Here’s the direct link for info, and to sign up: http://www.agilityrecovery.com/webinar-events/ .
In case you’re wondering if I have any particular affiliation with Agility Recovery, I don’t. As you know, I am constantly researching resources, and I simply feel very comfortable recommending them.
With 70% of businesses anticipated to lose power sometime in the next 12 months, this is an important topic for all of us at Emergency Plan Guide.
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team
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