Load Shedding Survival Guide
How to manage and reduce the impact on your business and personal life.
Once again, load shedding has reared its ugly head and is hampering business growth in South Africa. Thus, we decided to put together a Load Shedding Survival Guide to help make you aware of the risks and to not only keep your business going but hopefully keep it growing too.
While there are few if any businesses that are not negatively affected by load shedding some will be more at risk than others and the ability to implement solutions to minimise the impact may vary from company to company.
Load Shedding Risks
Loss of production
One of the most annoying aspects about load shedding is the fact that one never really knows when it will come into effect. The call by business to implement a set schedule for load shedding seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Therefore, instead of being able to schedule your company’s production you are left wondering when the lights will go off next.
Power surges represent a significant risk to your computers, machinery, and other electronics. Any business that uses computers or machinery that uses electricity, is at risk and should be exploring the use of surge protection measures.
If your business is in the food industry then spoiling of stock will be a major concern when your fridges and freezers go off.
Load shedding creates opportunity for criminals. Take extra care to secure your premises.
Surviving Load Shedding
One of the fastest and cheapest ways to start protecting your computers and machinery is to install surge protection devices. Surge protector plugs and multi-plugs can be purchased from most hardware stores and electronics stores.
Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)
While a UPS will not allow you to keep working it will help to protect you from power surges to some degree and give you time to save your work and shut down your computers and machinery properly. It is therefore a good option to help prevent damage to electronic equipment and data.
Offsite Data Storage and Backups
Having surge protectors and uninterruptible power supplies is important. However, they are not foolproof so you should take steps to preserve your data. Make sure you backup all your critical computer data and keep copies at an offsite data storage facility.
A power surge that destroys your computer’s hard drive may also damage or destroy any external hard drive that is plugged into your computer. So, while you may have your own backups an offsite backup is essential.
A comprehensive backup can help you restore not just your files but your software too, which will get you up and running again fast.
At the end of the day, depending on the frequency of load shedding you may need to look at installing alternative power sources. There are more than a few options ranging from solar power, to large battery packs and to generators.
Each option has its pros and cons that have to be weighed against the cost versus power generated.
For example, solar power might be a good option for running lighting and small electrical appliances. Generators are perhaps better for more power hungry equipment such as machines and large volumes of computers (pure sine wave inverters should be used if you need to run computers without damaging them). Extra battery packs may be a good option for laptops, gate motors, and phones.
Unfortunately, it looks like load shedding is here to stay, at least for the next few years. This means that you will be affected to some degree. Whether it causes your business to succumb or not is up to you.
For more information on how Iron Mountain can help your business weather the load shedding storm contact us today.
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