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Plan Ahead, Keep Staff Safe

Plan Ahead, Keep Staff Safe

Taking a few simple precautions can help protect your workers, your business and your equipment during a power outage.

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Business Outage Preparation Checklist

Here are some tips on how to manage an outage with as little disruption to your business as possible.

Make an Emergency Plan

Establish a workplace outage procedure and review it regularly so that all employees know exactly what to do.

  • Download an Emergency Checklist and keep a copy handy.
  • Prepare a workplace emergency kit and store it in an easy-to-find place.
  • Set up an evacuation plan and a meeting point – be sure to include arrangements for staff with special needs.
  • Keep a list of staff with first aid training.
  • Assign tasks and responsibilities to key personnel in the event of an outage.
  • Have important records and contact information handy, including employee information, customer accounts and bank and insurance records.
  • Regularly back up computer files and store in a safe place.
  • Establish a business continuity plan in the event of a longer outage.
  • Check the Occupational Health and Safety Act for more information on how to prepare your business.

Make a Business Continuity Plan

Having a backup plan can help you get back to business sooner in the event of a longer outage. Here are a few tips:

  • Make multiple backups of important computer files and data.
  • Store important records and information off-site, including employee and payroll records, customer accounts, bank and insurance records.
  • Consider a backup power source such as a portable generator.
  • Review your insurance policies and check what is covered.
  • Take an inventory and photographs of your equipment, supplies and workplace.
  • Maintain a list of people with keys, codes and passwords to databases and systems.
  • Update contact information for customers, suppliers and investors.
  • Schedule regular drills and training.

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What to do if the Power Goes Out

How to keep staff safe, protected and aware during a power outage.

Is the Outage Limited to Your Business?

If surrounding homes and businesses have power, safely check for tripped breakers, if accessible or contact your electrical contractor.

Are Nearby Homes and Businesses Also Without Power?

Report the outage to 416.542.8000.

Carry Out Your Emergency Plan

Ensure that all employees are safe and know what to do. Don’t forget to check elevators, restrooms, storage and other areas in case anyone needs help.

Protect Equipment and Electronics

Unplug electronics and equipment in the event of a sudden power surge when the power returns.


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What to Do After an Outage

How to get your business up and running when power is restored.

  • Report downed power lines to Toronto Hydro at 416.542.8000 and stay well away.
  • Report non-emergency damaged trees or fallen branches on city-owned property at 311.
  • If the tree is on your property and near a power line, you should hire a qualified arborist who is licenced to work on trees near power lines.
  • Gradually turn essential equipment back on, then wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting other equipment, to give your electrical system a chance to stabilize.
  • Ensure everything is operating correctly.
  • Restock your workplace emergency kit so it’s ready if needed again.
  • Review your emergency plan with your employees. Identify what worked, and where improvements can be made.