Responding to Power Failure

In the event that your surrounding area loses electricity:

  1. Provide flashlights to as many employees as possible, especially management
  2. Check for trapped employees or guests in all areas, especially elevators or enclosed rooms with special doors such as vaults and freezers
  3. Call the power company to report the outage and ask when you can expect service to return
  4. If your district has food service, keep refrigerators and freezers closed; discard food from cold storage if power is not restored within four hours
  5. Attempt to conduct business as usual as safely as possible until power returns
  6. If your facility is frequented by the public, consider closing temporarily as dark conditions can create numerous safety hazards

If only your structure is affected:

  1. Provide flashlights to as many employees as possible, especially management
  2. Check for trapped employees or guests in all areas, especially elevators or enclosed rooms with special doors such as vaults and freezers
  3. Conduct a site inspection to determine the cause of the outage, checking for damage to structures and power lines, being mindful of any electrical hazards
  4. If there is no obvious cause to the outage, call your power company to report it
  5. Shut down all electronic equipment such as computers and other items which will be sensitive to power surge
  6. Cover all perishable food items and keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed
  7. If power is not restored within four hours, discard any food from cold storage
  8. Notify your insurer of any damages, discarded food, or lost business

The advice listed here is taken from Ready for Anything, our guide to responding to disasters and calamities big and small.

For your free copy, visit our publications page.

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