4 Steps to Developing a Contingency Power Plan
Power Outages cost the U.S. Approximately $80 Billion Annually. By building a Contingency Plan that includes rental generators and a complete support package, you can react quickly and prevent the loss of revenue when you lose power. Preparation for power failure is a must, and a contingency plan is an essential tool. With a solid contingency plan in place, you’ll know what to do and whom to call to restore your power as soon as possible, to keep your business functioning and your revenue stream flowing.
Step 1: Determine Your Electrical Load
During an outage, there are several ways to restore power. You can provide it for the entire facility, critical loads, or loads you prioritize as crucial to your operation.
Entire Facility: This is the most effective way to insure seamless and safe operation of your facility during a power outage.
Critical Loads: These are the ones you can’t afford to lose. These are typically backed up by permanent generators or UPS systems. Depending on the length of the outage the back-ups may be sufficient but may not be enough to sustain a prolonged power outage.
Priority Power: It is important to prioritize your individual loads. While every facility is different, you can start by identifying the lost profits or related problems that will occur without a particular piece of equipment. This exercise will immediately help categorize your equipment by importance.
Step 2: Know the Ins and Outs of Your Facility
Prepare for a possible power outage by understanding the logistical needs of your facility. You can start with the following considerations:
• Do you have an electrical termination plan to connect the generators?
Power cables must be used to connect the generator to your termination point, which may include transformers; load banks; bus bars; distribution panels; feeder plants; fuses, outlets and load centers, etc. Please keep in mind you could have dozens of cables depending on your load requirements.
• How will you get cable from the generator sets outside your building to electrical distribution boxes inside?
Consider installing a “Generator Quick Connect Panel” on the outside wall of your facility. This box will make connecting the rental generator quick and safe. You could also consider putting and “Access Panel” for cabling through the wall of your facility. Then, you won’t need to route cable through windows and doors that should remain closed during off-hours or inclement weather.
• Do you have a plan for extended use of the generator?
Generator sets come with a set amount of fuel on board; you’ll need to ensure you have a refueling plan and/or an auxiliary fuel tank for extra capacity. Check with your supplier to see the available options.
Step 3: Find a Trusted Supplier
Your rental generator sets are only as reliable as the supplier who backs them. In planning for temporary power, find a rental power supplier that has the equipment you need and the staff qualified to solve your problems and service the units.
The supplier should be willing to deliver the rental power generator sets and, in some cases, additional equipment including power cable, transformers and more. Suppliers should also train local personnel in the equipment operation or, if necessary, provide staff for operation, service and maintenance.
Step 4: Identify Emergency Personnel and Conduct a Dry Run
Prepare a list of key contacts that will be responsible for carrying out your plan in an emergency. Make sure your team members have easy access to the list and update it as necessary. You should also have a plan for redundancy in each of the key contacts with multiple contact numbers.
After you’ve chosen the appropriate emergency equipment and roles have been defined for staff members, try your plan under pressure. These exercises will help ensure that everyone fully understands what to do in an actual power outage.
For more information or assistance from a rental representative, call 800-637-5000.