When your company relies on electrical equipment to function, a power outage can cause huge disruptions. It can mean that many tasks performed by your employees may not be able to happen, and productivity and profitability will be affected. Communicating with employees can help to mitigate the negative effects of power outages and will keep everyone on the same page about when power will be restored and what work they can do, if any, in the interim.
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Why do you need to be prepared for a power outage?
It’s worth being aware of and prepared for power outages.
According to E Source market research, power outages cost US businesses around $27 billion annually.
Power outages can be unpredictable and can impact a business with little or no warning. At best power may be out for a very short time, but in some instances, there may be significant disruptions to supply that can last for days or weeks.
They can be caused by any number of factors, including:
- Equipment failure
- Vehicles colliding with equipment
- Natural disasters
- Human error
- Animal interference.
Sometimes power outages happen as the system is taken offline for planned maintenance. Generally, when this happens you will be given advance notice from your power company.
Read more: Business continuity and disaster recovery.
How to effectively communicate power outages with your employees
When there is an unplanned power outage it is important you communicate with your employees to let them know what is happening. This will help you to mitigate the effects of the outage.
These are our best practice tips:
- When the power first goes out, it is important that you let employees know in the first instance that there is an issue and you will get back to them ASAP with more information.
- Most power companies will keep their customers in the loop about outages, including providing information about what has happened and the estimated time of power restoration. Once you are able to establish what has happened, it is important to then pass this information on to your employees to let them know when they can expect the power to be back on.
- If there is no ETA from the power company about when power may be restored, commit to updating your employees when more information is known. If the timeframes change you also need to keep people informed.
- If the power is going to be out for a considerable amount of time, you may need to activate your business continuity processes and communicate with employees about what they need to do.
- It’s important to communicate quickly with employees: you shouldn’t wait for a long time after the outage happens to update them.
- You will also need to have a reliable and robust communications channel that can be used even in the event of electricity or systems outages – for example, mobile alerts.
- Use a multi-channel internal communications approach. This is when you use a variety of channels to communicate the same information to maximize the likelihood of people seeing the information.
- If you work in an organization with multiple worksites, let the rest of the organization know that their colleagues at the affected site are experiencing a power outage and what that means for your operations. This includes sending a power outage email to managers.
- Use templates that you prepare in advance that will help save you time when there is an actual outage.
If you get advance notice of a scheduled power outage, you should also send power outage messages to employees letting them know when the power will be down so they can make arrangements to do other work in that time.
Power outage notification template examples
So you can be prepared in advance, we’ve created these power outage notice samples that you can customize and use in your organization:
Power outage email sample 1:
We are aware of a power outage that is affecting [building location]. Without electricity, the following services will be unavailable:
Our power company advises that the outage has been caused by [reason] and it is estimated that power will be restored at [date/time].
Power outage email sample 2:
There is a major power outage that is causing ongoing issues for our business at [location]. While the power remains out, we are unable to carry out our core business activities.
Staff who work from [location] should [list steps or requirements] in the interim. We expect the power will be restored at [date/time]
More info on topic: IT outage notification templates.
How to send power outage notifications with DeskAlerts
DeskAlerts is a versatile internal communications software system that lets you send important information to your employees on any topic, using a variety of innovative and reliable channels that cut through the digital “noise” of the workplace, guaranteeing that your information will be seen.
When there is a power outage, you can quickly send information to your employees using just one click from a mobile – or a PC from a location that isn’t affected by the outage.
Using pre-made power outage procedure templates you can quickly populate the notifications with the relevant information and send the message to staff. Notifications can be sent to any corporate device – including cell phones. You don’t need the power to be on to connect with employees in this way, by sending push notifications to a mobile app or SMS messages.
DeskAlerts lets you send information to custom audiences – so if you are in a large organization with different work sites, you can notify only those affected employees about the power outage and what it means for their work. If you choose to, you can let the rest of the organization know via different channels.
Being prepared for any issue that could negatively affect your business is smart. Putting systems and processes in place today before you experience a power outage can potentially save you lots of time and money when your company is affected by one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I be alerted when the power goes out?
There are intelligent devices on the market that will alert you to a power outage in your home or workplace so that you can take appropriate steps to mitigate against issues caused by the outage.
How do I inform the office of a power cut?
You can inform your office staff about a power cut using a variety of internal communications channels. If these are reliant upon having access to electricity, look at other ways to tell people about the issue, such as sending SMS or mobile phone notifications.
How to check the status of a power outage?
Most electricity providers have information on their websites about current outages, including what has caused them, how many customers are affected and the estimated time of power restoration.
How do you write an outage email?
When writing a power outage email notification, include the main points:
- What has happened
- Why it has happened
- Who/what is affected
- When will the problem be fixed
- What steps do you need people to take, if any, in the interim.
You can create a power outage notification email sample ahead of time that needs to be populated with relevant information when there is an outage.
How do you communicate with customers during a system outage?
During a system outage, there are many ways you can still communicate with customers. This can include putting information on your website, ensuring your call center staff are appraised of the situation, posting on social media and sending text messages.