Preparing Your Small Business for an Ice Storm Power Outage

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Ice storms can cause ice to build up on trees and power lines. Trees and tree limbs can fall onto power lines due to the weight the ice causes. This can cause a power outage, which can disrupt your small business.

Once the ice storm disaster wears off and the initial shock is over, the only thing that small business owners worry about is getting back to day-to-day normalcy. However, they might be in for a big shock if they haven’t prepared themselves for this type of disaster or an extended power outage properly. This is when they begin to really understand that their true livelihood depends on internet and electricity connectivity.



According to an Associated Press report, each day, power is lost by around 500,000 Americans for an hour or more and this costs the economy up to $188 billion a year.

Getting prepared for a power outage or other disaster should happen before it strikes. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is helping small business owners do this by providing them with helpful tips, which can be found on their disaster preparedness website.

However, there are some additional tips your small business can take to prepare for an ice storm power outage.

Stay Plugged In

Your business should have a battery-powered television or radio handy so you can monitor official announcements and the news during ice storm outages.

Keep the Lights On

Emergency lights should be installed prior to a disaster so you continue to have lights during a power outage. You can find them at building supply retailers and they are inexpensive. Be sure to follow all emergency lighting local building codes.

Have Emergency Supplies Handy

This includes:

  • First aid kits
  • Extra batteries and flashlights
  • Tools
  • Water and food for customers and employees

Be Covered with Business Interruption Insurance

Any loss of earnings resulting from a power outage or disaster can be covered through business interruption insurance. This means, if you lose business due to an ice storm power outage, business interruption insurance will help you get back some of that related loss of income. Your business property insurance can help with damaged to your building’s structure.

All it takes is a little bit of rain and 32 degrees temperatures or less to create an ice storm that can bring down power lines and trees. Although branches covered in ice are beautiful, the accumulation of that heavy ice can bring down utility wires and disrupt your communication and electric services. Being prepared before an ice storm strikes will help you get through the storm will little impact.