California’s wildfire crisis will enter an unprecedented new stage Wednesday, October 9th, as PG&E plans to begin cutting power to approximately 800,000 customers, shutting down the electric lines that have sparked many of the state’s worst blazes. This has set off a chaotic scramble of people preparing for an outage that could last a week in some places. Read the full article here.
The map below from PG&E shows the areas where power may be cut.
So what does this mean for your Credit Union if you are in the impacted area?
Outages impact how we serve our members, especially if we can’t open the doors due to security concerns. Maintaining proper backups of systems will help to ensure that minimal data could possibly be lost. Production processes could come to a halt if critical systems are not properly identified and connected to the backup power sources.
How can your Credit Union mitigate the risks of an outage?
- Purchase generators to serve as backup power sources
- Purchase uninterruptible power supplies, which provide interim power to safely shut down computers.
- Purchase and use surge protectors to help protect equipment
- Stock flashlights and batteries (place throughout the facility)
- Key personnel should have cellular phones with car chargers
- Save computer data regularly and store backup copies off-site or use replication services
- Install illuminated exit signs.
- Buy battery-operated radios or hand-crank radios
- When possible, distribute work and reroute calls to alternate locations
- Relocate employees to an alternate site if appropriate
- Create a list of important telephone numbers, including the local utility provider, clients, and business partners and update the list regularly
These are just a few mitigation measures and additional measures can be found online at ready.gov.
Credit union power outages require careful planning to mitigate as you can see. If you find you are not as prepared as you would like to be, reach out to one of our business continuity planning experts today. It is not a question of if an outage or disaster will occur, but when.