It’s a relief to have the power come back on, but your work isn’t over quite yet. You still need to count heads and check your food, look for dangerous storm damage, and deal with electrical power safety.
Here is a closer look what you need to take care of.
According to Ready.gov, it is essential to throw out food that is unsafe. If foods requiring refrigeration have been at a temperature of 40° F or more for two hours or longer, you need to throw them out. Check all of it for signs of changes in texture, color or bad odor.
It is safe to refreeze food that is colder than of 40° F that still has ice crystals in it. Don’t taste the food to see if it seems ok, and don’t rely on how it looks or smells. Bacteria forms at room temperature, making food dangerous to consume, but it can leave food looking normal. Even cooking doesn’t kill certain toxins.
The surest way to tell if food is safe is by inserting a food thermometer and checking that it is of 40° F or less.
In addition, if you have spoilage coverage, contact your independent insurance agency to let them know about any food spoilage your business may have incurred.
Check for Danger
If a storm caused the outage, be sure to make a careful inspection of the area around the outside of your business. Look for downed trees and limbs that pose a danger to the building and to power lines.
Immediately report downed lines and dangerous situations to the appropriate emergency offices.
Never enter a flooded basement with standing water unless you’ve turned off power at the main source.
As power comes back on, you might risk injury when the lines have energy restored and equipment is reactivated. Be careful when you come into contact with equipment, power lines, machine components and all moving parts. As a resource, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a checklist called Worker Safety in a Power Outage.
Return to Normal
Be sure to replenish your emergency kit with batteries, food, and water immediately after the outage. If you ran out of items this time, be sure to pack extra in case of another outage. If you need to upgrade your kit in any way, this is the time to do it.
Reset your clocks, microwave, and other electronics.
Be sure to protect your business from the dangers of financial loss with the right business insurance, including business interruption insurance and spoilage insurance if it pertains to your business. If you aren’t up-to-date with coverage, now is the time to talk to your agent.
Power outages are frustrating and inconvenient. By putting together an emergency kit and having a plan in place, your small business and your staff will weather the situation.