What to do when your small business has a power outage

By Anita Ginsburg

Power outages can be a nightmare for any small business owner. They bring operations to a standstill and cause delays in project delivery, financial losses, and decreased productivity. Considering the impact they can have on businesses, power outages are never welcome. While some outages can be unpredictable, others may result from various reasons like adverse weather conditions, equipment failure, or planned maintenance work. Whatever the cause, it is vital to have a plan in place to handle them when they occur. This article outlines the steps to take when your business encounters a power outage.

Safety first

The safety of employees and clients should always come first in case of a power outage. Ensure that everyone in the building exits the premises safely. Depending on the cause of the outage, there may be risks like gas leaks, fires, and electrocution. Shut off all electrical equipment and appliances and turn off the gas. Keep everyone away from the premises until it is deemed safe to enter.


Communication is critical during a power outage. Notify all employees, suppliers, and customers about the outage, its cause, and estimated duration time. Use alternative communication methods like cell phones, social media, or email to send updates. Informing your employees ensures that they know what to do when their workplace is closed, and they do not need to report to work.

Assess the damage

Determine the extent of the damage after the outage is over. Check equipment, particularly sensitive electrical devices and machines to ensure they are not damaged. A power outage can cause power surges, which can damage sensitive electrical equipment such as laptops and printers. Have an electrician or HVAC technician, or your power company like San Diego Power, LLC. check your equipment to ensure it is safe to use.

Have a backup plan

Having a backup plan is always advisable. Prepare a disaster management plan that outlines how to handle different types of power outages. Have a backup generator, electricians, and other professionals on standby that can help you mitigate the impact of a power outage. Invest in uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to protect data and enable employees to save work in progress.

Learn from the experience

In conclusion, once everything is back to normal, it is crucial to learn from the experience. Debrief employees on the steps taken to manage the situation. Evaluate the effectiveness of the disaster management plan, identify gaps, and refine the plan accordingly. Power outages are disruptive, but with the right measures in place, you can minimize the impact they have on your business.

Power outages can occur at any time with costly implications on business operations. During power outages, it is essential to prioritize safety, communicate effectively, assess damage, and have a backup plan. Having a disaster management plan in advance will give your business the flexibility you need and allow you to respond quickly when things go wrong. Take time to evaluate your disaster preparedness and refine your plan continually. With the right measures in place, your business will be better positioned to weather any storm that may come its way.


Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family, and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.

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