Would your business be forced to close if a hurricane, blizzard, ice storm, flood, windstorm, earthquake or man-made disaster cut off power? Power failures due to natural disasters have caused businesses to shut down and homeowners to hunker down or flee various parts of the country over the last few years.

Last month my company, Milanese Remodeling, was one of more than 600,000 homes and businesses in the western suburbs of Philadelphia to lose power for a week due to an ice storm. Like many others, we were not prepared for the consequences.

Not only did we lose electricity, we lost heat, phones, Internet, security, fire detection and email. Our business was exposed to loss from theft, arson and vandalism and essentially we were closed with no way to communicate with our clients at a time when they needed us most.

Power failures disrupt businesses more than ever before because we are more dependent on the grid to power, heat and secure our facilities, and because we are accustomed to lightning fast Internet communication with our clients. Sending a letter in the mail just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Here are some ways to prepare your business for an extended power failure event:

  • · Back-up generator;
  • · Cloud computing;
  • · Cloud telecommunication; and
  • · Relocation.

An automatic backup generator may not keep your manufacturing facility operating, but could keep your server online, provide heat and lights in key areas and keep security and smoke detection systems running. Moving your server and phones to a cloud may allow you to keep client communications open when landlines are down. Relocating your business may sound drastic, but if you are in an area that is vulnerable to hurricanes or in an older industrial park in lowlands liable to flood, then a new location may be a smart move.

I am warning you now—if your business is not prepared for a power failure, you may suffer serious consequences such as the inability to operate, communicate and service your clients or even keep your property safe and secure.

Prepare for power loss at your business or be ready to suffer the consequences.

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