Is your business prepared for power outages this summer?
By Elaine Doyle
Forecasts of high temperatures over this summer could potentially place your business in jeopardy of a power outage due to high power consumption if extreme temperatures are reached.
High summer temperatures in Victoria not only increase the risk of power outages but the more devastating risk of bushfires. The Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC recent Hazard Note warns that more frequent weather extremes continue to create above normal fire potential.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has warned that Victoria faces a low supply of reserve energy this summer. As a result, diesel generators have been connected into the state’s grid, however these can only produce 100MW or just enough for 40,000 homes. A worst-case scenario reveals that some homes and businesses could face having their power cut during summer.
Increased energy demands expose businesses to the potential risk of power outages. Having a stable energy supply to run increased needs for air conditioning in addition to regular business energy needs will make your business more resilient should Victoria experience power outages.
In preparedness for power outages or an extreme temperature crisis, Crisis Shield recommend:
Businesses should consider:
Review of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans with special consideration to blackouts. It is important to review how critical functions (such as IT) will operate.
Checking and testing back-up power generation. How much fuel is available and how long will it last?
Do you have a load shedding plan if you need to reduce power consumption? What critical infrastructure do you need to keep operating as a priority?
Review internal communication plans. Is there a protocol in place to contact staff to advise staff if there is an outage/not to come to work/work from home/public transport disruptions? Is it up to date? If staff cannot get to work can they work from home?
Review the effect on your service or supply chains.
Recommendations to staff:
Staff on leave may be affected by soaring temperatures or bushfire. Of all natural disasters, heatwaves are the biggest killers. Timely reminders for the safety of staff during extreme weather should consider:
Download the VicEmergency app which provides warnings and incidents for fires, floods, storms, earthquake and water safety www.emv.vic.gov.au/news/new-vicemergency-app-launched
Have a prepared fire plan, which includes a back-up plan. Download info on planning and bushfire survival at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/fire-ready-kit/
In times of extreme heat or power outage keep checks on elderly family, friends, neighbours and pets
To find out more about preparing for power outages, contact the Crisis Shield team today:
Phone: +61 3 9602 4310
 Hazard Issue Note 43 November 2017
The Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre
 Diesel generators to bolster Victoria’s energy network over summer
Tom Minear, 12 November 2017
 Building resilience to natural disasters in our states and territories, 2017 http://australianbusinessroundtable.com.au/assets/documents/ABR_building-resilience-in-our-states-and-territories.pdf