From the Claims Desk: Protect Equipment and Property During Power Loss
Your facilities’ power may go out for different reasons and varying lengths of time. Sam Carucci, Vice President, Claims, for the Church Insurance Companies, says there are certain procedures you should follow for each scenario.
Unexpected Power Loss
“When you have a power loss, unplug all electrical equipment,” Sam says. Power usually returns with a surge, which can damage or destroy equipment that’s plugged in, or that can cause fires. “Sometimes a power surge can even cause damage that isn’t immediately detectible,” he says, which can create difficulties later.
Sam suggests not relying too heavily on surge protectors. “A lot of people overload them,” he says, which reduces their effectiveness. He adds, “Just be careful and unplug what you can.”
If Power Goes Out Due to Storms
Unplug electrical items as you ordinarily would, but also take a couple of extra precautions in case of severe storms.
If you’re in a hurricane, anticipate the possibility of indoor flooding. “Move portable electrical systems to higher places, even if it’s just chairs,” Sam says.
If your area is under a tornado watch or warning, take valuable items to the basement or protected inner room with you. But, Sam cautions, you should do this only if you have plenty of time to get to safety. “Life is the most important thing; everything else can be replaced. Make sure you protect lives first,” he says.
Extended Power Outages
Individuals with bad intent can sometimes take advantage of long power outages. “Vandalism, theft, and many other problems could happen,” Sam says. “Secure your buildings to protect both your property and any people who may be there.”
Stay in contact with your power provider so that you have an idea of when power will be restored. Communicate this information to your congregation.
Following these guidelines can help preserve a church’s assets during the very common occurrence of power loss. “Churches have limited resources,” Sam says. “That’s why I offer these practical recommendations.”