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Time for winter prep

5 steps to help you prepare for potential power disruptions and protect your equipment.

Your business relies on high-quality, reliable power. But, as recent wind storms demonstrated, Oregon’s heavy rain, wind and ice storms can topple trees, bring down power lines and cause outages. So, we want to help prepare you and your employees.

Here are five tips to help minimize disruptions to your business and protect your valuable equipment.

  1. Make a plan:
    • Walk through a response plan with key employees to make sure you’re ready if your business loses power.
    • Locate your electrical supply panels and know how to shut off power.
    • Identify equipment power switches.
    • Make sure you and your employees have an outage plan for all critical equipment.
    • If you have an emergency lighting system, make sure it’s in good working order.
    • Ensure employees know how to override electronic doors, cash registers and other electronic equipment.
  2. Create and maintain an outage kit. An outage kit should exist in every department or floor and include the following items:
    • Hand-crank or battery-powered flashlights and radio
    • Battery-powered clock
    • Car adaptors/chargers for mobile devices and laptops
    • Emergency phone numbers, including your internal contacts for employees and the number of your PGE representative.
    • Extra batteries
  3. Make sure your fleet employees know how to be safe around downed power lines. Assume all downed or damaged lines are energized. If your drivers encounter a downed line during or after a storm, they should stay far away and report it to PGE. Also, help your employees learn what to do if a line ever falls on a vehicle they are in:
    Be safe around downed powerlines
  4. Know how to report an outage. Call Business Services at 800-822-1077. We will help get the power up and running as quickly and safely as possible. You can also follow us on Twitter @PortlandGeneral to get ongoing updates and safety information on storms.
  5. Check backup power. If you use a portable generator for backup power during an outage, follow generator safety rules to avoid deadly mistakes. Wondering if a permanent standby generator is a good idea? Consult an electrician to evaluate the cost and benefits for your business.