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Friday 2 Feb 2024 | 5 min read

Don't Get Left in the Dark: Protect Your Business from Power Outages

A man wearing a green hard hat standing outdoors surrounded by darkness, looking at a tablet, which provides the sole source of light in the image.

Power outages are a feature of summer (and increasingly other seasons) in Australia. And they always seem to come at the worst possible time! 

While wet towels and a hastily bought bag of ice might suffice when you're without power at home, it's a different story for businesses. Supermarkets, for example, have to throw out perishable foods stocked in fridges or freezers. 

Regardless of what you do, your business depends on electricity in one way or another. Whether electricity powers the technology you need to do business or simply keeps the lights on, even a short power outage can result in lost revenue. What’s more, power outages can also cause significant damage to your technology infrastructure, some of which could be irreversible. 

Even a brief power outage can wreak havoc on a small business. In today's digital-first world, we rely on electricity more than ever. And the impact of the power going off, even if it's for less than a second, could be costly. 

Blackouts will shut off all devices that require a power supply, rendering them unusable for that period. Without business-critical devices, the resulting downtime can be costly. 

Your data might also be at risk - and not just unsaved work. Sudden power outages can corrupt files and even entire databases. 

Power surges can also cause physical damage to your hardware, meaning you're up for reconfiguring, repair, or replacement costs.   

And with climate change leading to more extreme weather events, power outages are only becoming more frequent. That's why your business must have a plan to deal with them. 

Here are three ways to survive a power outage in your business: 

Three essential items to protect your business from power outages

Backup Generator 

A backup generator is the gold standard in backup power. And if you rely heavily on electricity to power business-critical applications, they're essential. 

Generators work by converting one form of energy (petrol, diesel, or renewable energy sources) to electricity. Petrol generators are typically the cheapest to purchase and install, while diesel and renewable energy generators are more expensive. However, the latter two eventually pay for themselves in the long run, as they cost less to power (in the case of renewable energy generators, nothing) and are more fuel-efficient. 

Once installed, generators act as your very own power supply. If you keep them fueled, they'll be waiting on standby to power your business if the main power supply is out. 

You turn on a generator via its switch, which can be automatic or manual. With a manual switch, you'll need to physically flip the switch to change your business's power source from the mains to the generator. Automatic switches, commonly known as Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS), will instantly and seamlessly transfer the power source from your mains to your generator as soon as there's an outage. 

Automatic switching is ideal for businesses, as even a split second without power can be catastrophic. However, installing an ATS is expensive unless you're an electrical company or have electricians on staff. 

Thankfully, there's another way to keep the power on during an outage. 

Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) 

As you know, sudden power losses can damage your business's data and network. 

Generators that allow automatic switching between power sources in an outage can be expensive to implement and maintain. And if you have a basic generator with a manual switch, the power outage would have already done its damage.   

Thankfully, there's a more cost-effective way to protect your network and ensure business continuity through seamless backup switching. 

An Uninterruptable Power Supply is a simple, cost-effective way to ensure business continuity. 

An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is a device that provides a battery-operated backup to your critical electrical equipment. Unlike generators, which need to be installed, a UPS is a plug-and-play backup power solution - literally! 

It sits between your wall outlet and the devices you use. As the UPS is plugged into the wall, electricity charges its battery. If electricity stops coming through the wall outlet, the UPS will immediately switch to battery power without disrupting the power supply of the connected devices.   

Running business-critical electronic devices through an Uninterruptable Power Supply protects the equipment critical to running your business from turning off during a power outage. You might not even notice that the power went out. 

With base models suitable for small offices starting from sub-$200AUD, Uninterruptable Power Supplies are also cost-effective. Of course, given they're battery-powered, they have a limited runtime. But for short outages, Uninterruptable Power Supplies ensures business continuity. And if you anticipate a prolonged outage, they'll give you enough time to fuel and turn on a backup generator without power interruption. 

Mobile Broadband 

Whether you need to rely on connected Point of Sale systems to process transactions or do business online, the internet is essential to business. Every second you're offline equates to lost productivity. 

4G backup is a solid option to keep your business internet connection running if your primary fixed-line connection goes down. But as it's connected to your modem, which needs electricity, 4G backup won't work during a power outage. 

In those situations, you'll need a mobile internet connection, such as Mobile Broadband. 

Mobile Broadband is internet delivered via a mobile SIM card. When you connect the Mobile Broadband SIM to a device such as a mobile phone, tablet, or portable hotspot, the device acts as a router that other devices can connect to to access the internet. 

Mobile devices don't need electricity to run if they're charged. So, if a power outage prevents you from using your fixed-line internet, you can still use your mobile broadband connection. For these situations, we recommend having a mobile broadband device charged and always ready for use. 

Victoria State Emergency Services Nillumbik unit (VICSES Nillumbik) does most of its critical rescue work during extreme weather events. The power outages that often coincide with severe weather put a strain on the VICSES Nillumbik team. Without power, they couldn't access the online applications they relied on to provide efficient and effective emergency response. 

To stay online in these critical moments, VICSES Nillumbik use Mobile Broadband. Having access to a reliable 4G network that doesn't require electricity to connect to has been a game-changer in navigating the high-pressure, challenging emergency response environment. 

Read VICSES Nillumbik's customer story to learn more about their mobile broadband experience. 


Mobile Broadband

Keep your business connected

Can't afford to be without internet? Stay connected with great-value 4G and 5G mobile broadband plans. Connect any LTE-enabled device and take it on the go, or keep it as a backup for critical connectivity.

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Don't wait until it's too late 

Power outages can damage your business significantly. Therefore, you must take measures to minimise their impact and help you stay operational should one occur. 

If you need guidance on protecting your network and business-critical technology from the impacts of power outages, our expert team can help. 

Give our 100% Australian-based team a call on 1300 480 905. Or, if you prefer, get in contact via our website. 


Written by

Michael Hayman Headshot

Michael Hayman

Content Writer

Michael is Aussie Broadband's marketing copywriter. Michael has worked as a content marketer since 2016, predominantly in the B2B space. He is passionate about writing educational content that helps small and medium businesses run, grow and...

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