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What squirrels can teach you about your business emergency plan

7/31/2014 at 2:57 pm by

Did you hear about the power outages at the Sage Beaverton, Oregon office early this month? We were attacked by squirrels! Well okay, maybe not attacked, but the substation that powered our Beaverton facility and at least 8,000 other electrical customers had not one, but two adventurous squirrel “experiences” in less than a week, taking out the power for over three hours each time. And all the things we take for granted–phones, computers, internet, air conditioning, and more–were gone!

This is the first time in years that our Beaverton office has been without power. We learned quickly the importance of an emergency plan. Our remote customer support analysts were ready to take incoming customer calls; other Sage office sites also stepped up to help; and messages on our phone system, Sage City, and Twitter got the word out that we might be a bit slower to respond.

Things taken for granted, like our HVAC system (it got WARM!), PCs and the Internet (which had to be rebooted), door alarms, and more needed to be planned out to help get those processes up as soon as our power was back on. We also encountered a few emergency steps we missed. So, before the next squirrel attack, we had set up new plans that helped facilitate an easier transition through the second power outage, and a much more positive experience was had by all.

What plans do you have in place for an emergency? Have you verified that all of your processes and procedures are current and up to date in case your power goes out or another possible disaster strikes? This is the perfect time to test and verify everything works for you so that if you have a squirrel attack or other emergency, you are ready for action! For information on disaster preparedness for your business, go here.

Read more about the information on the Beaverton power outage.

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About the Author

Kathy Johnson is a customer support manager at Sage Construction and Real Estate. She has been with Sage for over 14 years and really enjoys working with others to resolve issues with a positive outcome for all. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, snow skiing, and relaxation at her family’s lake property.

2 Responses to “What squirrels can teach you about your business emergency plan”

  1. Alex says:

    I seem to remember an article/blog talking about the threat assessment to the US power grid…the biggest threat, by far, was rodents, not terrorists.

  2. Kathy says:

    Thanks for your comment!
    Is this the article you are referring to?http://theweek.com/article/index/255510/forget-hackers-squirrels-are-a-bigger-threat-to-americas-power-grid
    Even though looking “cute”, those furry critters create havoc everywhere!

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