16634643 - the words no power in red letters in front of an electrical outlet and an unplugged cord to symbolize an electricity outage or energy failure

The occasional power outage is typically a mild inconvenience, but it can become a significant risk to people, equipment and supplies. Planning ahead will help you reduce risks. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Identify critical systems that require power such as lighting, HVAC, air ventilation, refrigeration, computers, elevators, alarms and monitoring systems.  Know where and how to shut off power to each system and piece of equipment.

Turn off power to equipment, appliances and systems to prevent damage from surges when the power is restored. Consider installing surge protection system.

Identify critical systems which must remain in operation. Consider renting or purchasing a backup generator to run those critical systems during an outage.

List suppliers and customers that may need to be alerted in the event of a power outage.

Install emergency lighting in key areas, and test regularly to make sure it’s in good working order in the event of an emergency.

Plan and post evacuation routes. This is especially critical if you are in a high-rise building dependent on elevators. Be sure to include plans for how disabled staff and guests who may have difficulty managing stairs will be evacuated.

Consider alternative communication options for employees, such as group text or private social media chat. Keep a phone on hand that does not require power, and keep all mobile devices charged and ready for use.

Designate off-site meeting locations for key staff members.

Document power failure procedures and other critical information, and include it with your other emergency plan documentation.