Leadership’s Role in the Face of Blackout Threats

With summer upon us, severe weather poses more than just a danger to our physical bodies, mainly from heat exhaustion. There is also the concern of blackouts caused by the drain of too much electricity being distributed at one time. And while utilities push community awareness about this issue when the temperatures begin to rise in the hot summer months, sometimes the inevitable occurs and a blackout takes place. This is okay if it is only for a few hours, but what are business leaders to do when a blackout stretches out for days, and even weeks.

The first thing company managers should is form a crisis team to deal with such situations before they happen, according to http://myfacilitiesnet.com. Once formed, company crisis teams should practice what to do when the power goes out. They should decide beforehand who handles what, and necessary resources need to be staged to where they can easily be accessed. Also, when the threats of rolling blackouts are a concern, leaders should be mindful of the amount of electrical use by their company at such times. Turning off unnecessary lights or limiting the use of the air conditioner now could save expensive downtime later.

Also of concern is the backing up of all pertinent data and instituting any backup power plans, such as generators, extra cell phone batteries (make sure they are charged, too), and laptop batteries (likewise charged). When using generators, know how they work and what exactly will be powered by them.

Some other areas that need to be considered and planned for in the case of an extended blackout are:

  • Shelter: In the case of an emergency, such as severe weather, is the office able to be used as a shelter?
  • Food and Water: If so, does your emergency plan take into account food and supplies for those within the office for an extended time? This also extends to flashlights and first-aid kits.
  • Temperature Extremes: With a blackout occurring, temperature extremes will likewise be magnified. Is the office prepared to deal with these extremes, such as ways to keep cool or warm?
  • Carbon Monoxide: One area of top concern when dealing with a blackout is the potential carbon monoxide threat a backup generator might pose. If using such generators, are they properly ventilated?

By keeping the above points in mind, business leaders should be able to effectively plan for blackout events. The most important part of planning for a blackout is to be prepared before they even happen.

For more information about how to be properly prepared for a blackout, visit: http://myfacilitiesnet.com/myfacilitiesnet_blogs/b/myfacilitiesnet/archive/2012/08/30/power-outage.aspx