Being prepared for the unexpected ensures a level of insurance money can’t buy. Those who are smart know there are factors they can’t control and stay concerned about operating businesses despite emergencies.
The following information facilitates continuity and seeks to stabilize loss of opportunities resulting from a business power outage or resource failure.
Form a Continuity Plan
When the power fails at a place of business, owners don’t lose function of immediate resources alone. They lack the ability to serve customers in the future and maintain integral business functions.
A continuity plan stabilizes losses and ensures a business continues to perform despite present challenges. Create a continuity plan with in-house employees or seek external help from business consultants. Plans address the loss of digital data, machine failure, refrigeration, and other immediate concerns.
Save Digital Data
How often do you save data? Is customer data saved elsewhere (in the cloud or at another location)? Use external hard drives, cloud providers, and third-party data management companies to keep data safe from power shortages and surges that affect small to large-scale data warehouses.
Having no data backup could mean losing shipping, product, and consumer-related information. Keeping printed data requires time to reinsert information into systems. Saving and maintaining digital data, at all costs, is a top priority of a business’ power outage plan.
Introduce a UPS
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) lends battery-operated power to computers and in-house machines during a power outage. Employees have time to save data and address machines that would otherwise lose power mid operation.
Speak to suppliers about models and features that meet the requirements of your business. Some won’t work indefinitely, just long enough to maintain immediate data. Regardless, you need a data storage solution in place, which saves time and in-house resources.
Protect Machines and Computers
Trade machines and company computers host circuit boards and internal components susceptible to power surges. Surge protectors maintain the integrity of machines that could malfunction or be destroyed during an electrical storm.
Surge protectors harness incoming currents and keep them grounded, saving machinery and expensive computers from damage. Protecting machinery is an inexpensive insurance solution.
Additionally, unplugging devices ensures no radical voltage reaches sensitive computers, televisions, microwaves, fax machines and other business components.
Maintaining food and curbing losses is a major concern of food and beverage vendors, especially in the event of a major power outage. In addition to placing refrigerators and freezers at lowest settings before a potential storm, large blankets lend instant insulation to machines without available power.
Speak with other food vendors who can store meat, cheeses, and foods that require refrigeration in an emergency. Have a plan to put into immediate effect once power is lost. Depending on foods served, finding a quick storage solution means the difference between losing hundreds to thousands of dollars in product.
Get an External Generator
A back-up on-site generator keeps power flowing when owners can’t rely on city-related resources. During large-scale disasters, generators ensure brick-and-mortar vendors do the bare essentials, like close in-house money vaults and activate security systems.
There are a few things to consider, such as having a professional electrician install and check the generator in addition to buying the extra fuel source needed to power it.
A backup solar generator is convenient since it will get its power from the sun and store it until you need it in an emergency. Speak with knowledgeable vendors about possible tax breaks and savings associated to green solutions.
Address the Plumbing
In addition to electrical storms, severe cold weather freezes pipes and parts associated to a store’s plumbing, creating an awkward inconvenience for employees.
In addition to maintaining contact information of a plumber, electrical heating tape or wrapping components with hot towels helps thaw pipes. Since plumbing systems and parts are expensive, it’s recommended you allow professionals to handle large-scale buildings and major plumbing failures. During emergencies, knowing who to call for help is better than trying to resolve a situation with inexperience. Keep numbers of electricians, plumbers, fire, and safety professionals on hand.
Keep Employees Safe
Most importantly, a plan for employees to keep secure is a vital. Keep first-aid kits on hand, in addition to fresh batteries, flashlights, and emergency numbers. Have an evacuation route posted on each floor, and provide key staff with cellular phones, tw0-way radios, and the training to keep all employees safe.
You can’t keep an electrical storm or severe weather from happening, but you can increase your level of preparation by having a plan in place regarding in-house data, equipment, facilities, and employees.
Allen Baler is a Partner at 4Patriots LLC, a Tennessee based small business that provides products to help people be more self-reliant and more independent. Allen founded the company in 2008 after 14 years as a corporate executive leading profitable business for the Easton Press and the Danbury Mint. He graduated with honors from Harvard University and resides in Nashville with his wife and 3 daughters.
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