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It’s one thing to have the inconvenience of a power outage when you’re at home, but what if you’re at your place of business when the lights go out?

Power outages are on the rise in the U.S., affecting both residential homes and companies. The chances are good that as a business owner you’ll have to deal with one eventually.

There are steps you can take to keep you and your employees safe and minimize any lost profits before an outage happens. Read on for five ways to prepare for a power failure.

1. Stock up on Emergency Supplies

Put together an emergency power outage stockpile that contains flashlights, headlamps, batteries, first aid supplies, and a tool kit. Keep it where it can be easily retrieved, and make sure all of your employees are aware of it location. Chances are you won’t need to use everything in it, but you’ll feel confident knowing you have one handy.

2. Have a Power Outage Plan

Train your employees on the steps everyone should take in case of a power outage in order to keep themselves and customers safe. Designate people to turn off and unplug equipment in case of a power surge. Show employees the shutoff points for water, electricity, and gas in case these need to be turned off.

Everyone should also be aware of where the emergency exits and stairwells are included in case they need to use them. After all, elevators won’t work without power. Also, remind everyone to keep their mobile devices charged up at all times.

3. Invest in a Generator

Your office building may already be equipped with a generator, but if you have a storefront or small business, you may want to invest in one. Depending upon its power and the size of your business, you may be able to continue operations thanks to a generator. At the very least, you should be able to turn on a few lights so you can see.

Industrial generators allow businesses with larger-scale operations to keep the equipment working.

4. Share Your Plan with Customers and Suppliers

When inclement weather is predicted, send an email blast to your customers and suppliers about what they can expect from your business if the power fails.

You can share a bit about the safety training you have in place and how they can contact you about orders or deliveries. Communicating with customers about how you plan to handle a power outage will help prevent their dissatisfaction.

5. Take Care When the Power Returns

Once power is restored, it’s tempting to want to turn all of your machinery and equipment back on. Always wait to make it’s safe to do so. Power surges can damage equipment and start electrical fires.

Turn the lights on first, then wait 10-15 minutes before resuming equipment power. If necessary, check with your utility company to confirm it’s safe to turn them back on.

Know How to Prepare for a Power Failure

A power failure can really disrupt a business and cause lost profits, but knowing what steps to take when one happens can at least lessen its impact. Remember that above all, the safety of you and your employees must come first.

Check out our commercial design posts for more tips on staying safe in the workplace.

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