It might not have the maliciousness of a fraudulent banking claim or a cyber attack, but a natural disaster can wreak just as much havoc on a small business.
Severe weather is the top cause of power outages throughout the country, according to the Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Outages. The report estimated 679 widespread power outages occurred between 2003 and 2012 due to severe weather, which have cost the economy billions of dollars.
Vivek Malapati, segment leader for Cummins Power Generation, pointed to this winter as a prime example. ‡
"Our region is enduring winter weather and power outages and closures unlike anything most of us have ever experienced," Malapati said. "In extended power outages businesses face potential financial losses and safety concerns. Being prepared is the key to solving power supply issues during severe weather. A proactive business owner who wants the peace of mind and assured business continuity that comes with a reliable source of electricity should consider installing a permanent standby generator."
Keep your small business running smoothly
If you're a small business owner hoping to keep your company running efficiently, one option to consider is an emergency power generator ‡ to back up your business if a natural disaster were to strike. This allows your store to stay open while some of your competitors may be shutting down, and it can also keep your online presence from crashing.
Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, said that FEMA and the National Weather Service are working in tandem to educate and advise families, businesses and government agencies about protecting themselves during a natural disaster.
"Tornados, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, severe thunderstorms, and other extreme weather occurrences can devastate a community," Schaeffer said. "We're proud of the role diesel equipment plays in America's emergency response programs. From powering the back-up generators that give hospitals and operating rooms electricity within 10 seconds of a blackout to powering disaster-relief vehicles, diesel is a key player in protecting our public health and safety."
Schaeffer noted that diesel-powered generators provide the most reliable form of emergency backup power. A slew of international building codes and standards require diesel generators for code compliance due to the rapid response time available from these units. They also are commonly used because of their load carrying capacity, fuel supply and reliability.
Identify and assess the risk
?Immediately locate the facility's critical load. Try to figure out the costs and risks associated with utility power interruptions, production losses and downtime. If a natural gas pipeline has recently been in disarray, you might want to consider getting a backup generator for your small business needs.
Depending on your business, frequent outages can have a severe impact on the cost implications of your business. If you are working on a deadline and need to get something fast, you'll be out of luck without a generator. The same is true for a company manufacturing a certain product. They would lose time and money when their production lines falter due to an outage.
While other generators can take up to two minutes to get going, diesel-powered generators can offer power quickly during a power outage, while providing a cost-effective source of reliable backup power.
"One of the most important and unique features of diesel-powered generators compared to other technologies is quick response time, able to start and absorb a full electrical load within 10 seconds of grid power failure," Schaeffer said.