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How to prepare for power outages

Power outages can severely hinder business operations. But with a little planning and foresight, it’s possible to avoid any costly outages and maximise your power.

Power outages: what should you do?

If you’ve been staying up to date with the news, then you’ll likely have seen much discourse surrounding potential power outages in the coming months.

Fuelled by a number of external circumstances (both domestic and international), the notion of power outages is a source of immense concern for businesses of all sizes as they can severely hinder daily operations, not to mention pose significant costs.

But how do you prepare for a power outage? And how can a strong contingency plan help?

Preparing for a power outage

The notion of widespread power outages has been heavily reported of late. And while the worst may not come to pass, it’s always prudent for businesses – especially those working to strict deadlines – to prepare for any eventualities.

But where to start, exactly?

As is often the case when managing large-scale operations, a thorough assessment of your existing circumstances is a crucial step in preparing for power outages.

Of course, the scale of your assessment will depend on the size of your operations, and projects in the construction and manufacturing sectors will require rigorous analysis to ensure nothing is overlooked.

That said, there are several broadly applicable steps you should consider:

  • Assess your building/site. You’ll need to know where the electric meter room is located, how to access it and where the fuses are in the event of a sudden power outage.
  • Know your equipment. It’s also important that you understand the power or temperature control equipment that you’re using. 90% of preparing for a power outage is mounting a swift response, so knowing your equipment is a must.  
  • Write up a strong contingency plan. In an emergency situation or unexpected power outage, it is vital that you have a clear plan of action in place to reduce confusion and panic. Identify who is responsible for each task (i.e. contacting help, staying after hours) and appoint a safety committee.  
  • Run through the plan of action with all employees. Brief all employees on the contingency plan, covering everything from safe exit points and shutdown procedures to starting the backup generators you’ll require.
  • Understand your back-up power equipment. Already got a back-up power generator on-site? While this is a crucial first step for keeping operations running, you’ll need to know how to use it – or have someone on-site (or on call) who does. The sooner you can get generators up and running, the lesser the impact of a power outage.

How to prepare for a winter power outage

A power outage at any time of the year can hamper operations, but a power outage in winter can bring extra challenges - especially in the event of insufficient planning.

So, how do you prepare for a winter power outage? What additional considerations need to be made?

As you can imagine, in the event of a winter power outage, the importance of temperature control is significantly increased, and you’ll need to act swiftly to ensure that employees (and critical assets) are kept warm and safe as you work to resolve the problem.

As such, it’s important to have access to backup heaters and temperature control equipment. If you’re operating a construction site, you’ll want to use a powerful industrial heater to prevent your employees from experiencing any discomfort.

But temperature control isn’t limited to the construction sector. Both the pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors rely often rely on precise conditions, making temperature control - and, by extension, emergency power – vital for preventing potentially costly wastage.

If you’re responsible for keeping operations moving, it can be troubling to see so many headlines related to power outages, but with a little foresight, it’s possible to prevent any major disruptions.

Choose power failure contingency planning from Aggreko

With so much to consider, the reality of how to plan for a power outage can be a stressful tasks, but it doesn't have to be with our contingency planning services.

Each business is unique, as such, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to contingency planning. We offer a wide range of contingency planning services and have experience in providing contingency plans for data centres, manufacturing plants, and hospitals, so if disaster strikes, all you need to do is call us.