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A power outage can happen unexpectedly and virtually at anytime and anywhere, whether your utility company is rural or urban. The city of New York recently suffered back to back blackouts, leaving tens of thousands in the dark, including pet care providers (and the pets they’re caring for). The best way to deal with a power outage is to be proactive in preparing for one. Make Power Outage Planning a part of your overall Safety and Emergency Preparedness Program. To get you started, the following are just a few tips and considerations. This should not be considered a comprehensive list. For more assistance, contact IBPSA or your local power company.
Before an outage occurs, consider these readiness tips:
- Have proper insurance coverage that covers, but is not limited to, the loss of equipment as well as revenue.
- Have the power company phone number handy to report the outage immediately.
- Keep a “go bag” with a flashlight, extra batteries, etc., for all emergencies.
- Maintain a working generator.
- Periodically check your backup systems to ensure proper operation if the power fails.
- Use surge protection on all of your equipment and appliances.
- Have a predetermined gathering place for employees to receive further instructions in the event of total darkness.
- Keep at least one battery operated computer and cell phone charged at all times, this will allow you to continue operations.
- Have your records stored in the cloud and/or on a regularly backed up external hard drive for easy access.
In the event a power outage occurs, consider the following steps:
- Put signage on the front door to inform clients/visitors of the outage and that they should enter your pet care facility with caution.
- Turn off and disconnect equipment as soon as a power outage occurs to prevent potential damage.
- If it is hot, keep humans and animals hydrated as well as cooled down with a water source.
- If it is cold, warm humans and animals with generated heat as well as clothing/blankets.
- Periodically check on employees and animals in remote areas.
As always, safety first to avoid the worst!
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