Prepare your business for an outage
Preparing your business for an outage starts long before it happens. Being prepared before the power goes out is the best way to help minimize disruption to your business. Knowing what to do before, during and after a power outage can help reduce the inconvenience and keep you and your employees safe.
What to do before an outage
Use our business outage preparation checklist
We've created a step-by-step guide to help you and your employees get prepared and ensure everyone knows their role during an outage or emergency.
Here are some other ways to get prepared:
Ensure your information is up-to-date
- Make sure your business contact information in your MyHydro account is up-to-date. This makes it easier for us to help you during an outage.
Put together an emergency kit
- Put together an emergency kit so you and your employees can be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours during a power outage.
- Check it regularly to make sure it’s well-stocked and that all equipment is in good working order and replace any expired supplies.
- Depending on the size of your business, you may need to put together multiple kits and store them in easy-to-access locations.
Know the location of your meter room
- Make sure you know the location of your meter room and electric service entrance.
- Consider installing an emergency lighting system in your meter room.
- Have a portable lamp or flashlight and batteries available in the room.
Test your equipment
- Test your backup battery systems, emergency lighting, phone, security and fire protection systems regularly.
- Prepare a list of equipment that will need to be turned off during an outage and then reset when power is restored.
- If you have three-phase equipment, install a protection device and know how to reset it after an outage has occurred.
If your power goes out, determine whether the problem is limited to your building or electrical system by checking neighbouring buildings and our list of current power outages.
If your outage isn’t listed, report the outage by calling 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) or *HYDRO (*49376) on your mobile. You can also report your outage online through your MyHydro account. You'll be prompted to enter your account number or site location identification number (SLID).
Next, you'll want to implement your outage preparedness plan and turn off your equipment and appliances, including computers and laptops, especially those that generate heat. This helps prevent equipment damage when power is restored.
Safety should be the most important consideration for you and your employees. If a power line has come down or been damaged on or near your property, treat this as an emergency. Keep yourself and others at least 10 metres away (the length of a city bus) and call 9-1-1 to report. Learn why staying back 10 metres is so important and more about power line safety.
When power is restored, first turn on the most essential equipment. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting other equipment to avoid overloading the electrical system and give it a chance to stabilize.
Check your facility to make sure everything is operating correctly and reset your clocks, alarms or any automated equipment. Learn what to do with any food in your fridges or freezers and other tips.