When the power goes out at work, it’s important to keep your cool and stay safe. Here are five things you can do if you find yourself in a dark building during power outages:
- The first thing you need to do is stay calm. Staying calm will help you think clearly, so you’re better able to handle any problems that come up. If you’re feeling rattled, take a few minutes and breathe deeply — remember that this is just another day at work! Check on others. Make sure that everyone is accounted for and safe, and then check with them to make sure they’re okay. If someone is missing or hurt, don’t try to go after them without proper gear—it could put both of you at risk.
- Its important not only for your own mental health but also for other people that they know everything is OK — even if it isn’t always clear how things will turn out in the end. By sending out an email or posting on social media with reassuring messages (“We’re doing our best!”), you’ll help keep everyone else calm and focused as well. Get emergency supplies in place. Store flashlights, battery-operated radios, first aid kits and other emergency supplies in easy reach so that you can access them during an outage. Always have extra batteries on hand as well!
- Have a flashlight, battery-powered radio and portable cellphone charger available at work. These can help you stay informed about what’s going on outside of the office building, which will be crucial to knowing when it will be safe to leave and how long the outage might last. Make sure that you have enough supplies to last for at least 72 hours so that you don’t get caught off guard if communications go down for an extended period of time or if it takes longer than expected for power to be restored. You should be ready with proper equipment like generators or inverters before hand
- Another thing you should do when the power goes out at work is turn off any electronics that use electricity. This includes computers, printers, monitors, fax machines and any other device that has an on/off switch. If your office doesn’t have surge protectors or uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), unplug everything that doesn’t need to be kept plugged in, including lamps and other appliances. If all else fails, unplugging these items will save you from losing them if they suddenly start working again while they’re still plugged in.
- If there’s a serious situation going on, like a fire or some kind of medical emergency, call 911 immediately so that help can be dispatched as soon as possible. If there’s just a power outage, though, it’s probably better not to call 911 unless there’s an obvious threat to safety (like smoke coming out of a building). In most cases, calling 311 or the equivalent should suffice unless there is an immediate threat to life or property in which case 911 should be called immediately regardless of whether it is after hours or not.