How to deal with a commercial office building with Power Loss
Could you manage maintenance and communications with utility companies in a storm?

A massive snowstorm, affectionately known as Nemo, pummeled the Northeast with a combination of ice, high winds and heavy snow- creating localized power outages (and outrages) that negatively impacted many properties in the region.

As cities and towns recover (and dig out) from the blizzard that shut down large parts of the country, it’s a great time for property managers to review their emergency preparedness plans- with a special focus on handling major storms and power loss. The modern office building needs continuous power to help tenants maintain their productivity, and even partial outages can decrease office efficiency, costing companies thousands of dollars.

The property manager that prepares ahead of time for weather-based emergencies is the property manager with happy tenants- and software is often the key to both preparedness and efficient crisis response. Building Engines provides the tools needed to manage fire and life safety (this includes weather-related incidents), including centralized storage of emergency pre-plans, automated storm preparation and response workflows and checklists (i.e. Alert: a storm is coming! Better trim down any dead branches so they don’t take out power lines), incident tracking, and, most importantly, communications with tenants, vendors and staff.

Did you know? Building Engines Broadcast and Emergency Messaging tool allows you to easily contact pre-defined groups of tenants and staff, as well as track responses? You can also select from multiple communication modes- including text messaging- which is essential during a power outage or when phone and email lines are down!

Being prepared for any emergency

Don’t wait until the “unexpected” happens. You never want to get hit by a Black Swan Event that leaves your property in chaos.  High winds and tornados are always a danger in many parts of the country. The monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report by Aon Benfield noted that more than 50 tornadoes moved through the South during January, marking the second-largest outbreak of storms since 1950. The Georgia Department of Insurance estimated losses near $75 million, with economic losses to businesses forecast to reach close to a $100 million. Coupling physical preparations – i.e. removing debris from the property and making sure that the exterior and roofing of the building are in good condition – with a software system that can help you document and respond more efficiently is the key to true preparedness.

If power does go out during a storm, Building Engines can help boost coordination between maintenance staff and public work crews. By tracking work order requests, vendors, incident reports, and repair work in real-time (and from mobile devices)- property managers can speed communications and reduce the time it takes to locate damage and fix the situation.