Preparing for a Power Outage

Preparing for Power Outages
Like any other part of the infrastructure, electrical power to the campus can fail,
either as an isolated incident (e.g., tripped circuit breakers) or as part of a larger
event (scheduled outages, regional power outages or natural disasters).
Electrical power is provided to Health Science Center campuses by
CPS Energy. Although CPSE is very reliable, it is not 100%. Periodic
losses of normal power can occur and may lead to business continuity
Additional sources of power are available throughout campus
facilities. Forms of backup power supplies include emergency
generators, batteries, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and
photovoltaic arrays. These backup power sources are controlled by an
automatic transfer switch (ATS) which detects the loss of normal
power. The ATS has a delay of approximately 10 seconds before
providing emergency power. Emergency power provides a limited
quantity of power necessary to sustain basic safety, limited building
lighting, egress exit signage for building evacuation and for critical
Emergency Generator Power will automatically
come on for loss of electrical power. Generators will
be running throughout the outage.
Electrical Power Outage – Preparing Ahead of Time
Identify critical equipment and ensure they are on emergency power.
Desktop workstations will not be accessible as they will not have power.
If you have data on a server that you need access to, you can access the server directly via
VPN; if you need instructions for doing so, please contact your TSR or the IMS Service Desk.
If you have data on a workstation that you need access to that weekend, you should move it
to a central file server where it will then be accessible via VPN. You should test accessing
VPN regularly.
If you have data stored on a workstation, you are encouraged to back up that data prior to
the outage to a file server or encrypted device; please contact Information Security or the
IMS Service Desk for further guidance.
Turn-off and unplug all electrical and electronic equipment before leaving for the weekend.
After power is restored, it will likely take several hours for all network access to be restored.
Office Prep
Unplug electrical equipment to prevent possible power surge condition when power is
restored. Examples of office equipment that should be unplugged includes but is not
limited to copiers, printers, computers, monitors, microwaves, and coffee pots.
Set all equipment that is not able to be unplugged to the OFF position. This is to avoid
tripping the circuit breakers, blowing fuses, or damaging equipment from power surges
when normal power is restored.
Turn off all light switches as you leave before the outage. The voltage may surge and
damage lights that are left on. Do not use candles or other type of flame for lighting.
If it becomes necessary to return to the premises during a power failure, be sure to bring
your campus ID in order to enter the buildings and bring a flash light.
Laboratory Prep
Designate an emergency contact for information in the event of an unexpected shut down.
Verify that the laboratory emergency contact information displayed on the outside placard is correct.
If not, contact EH&S at 567-2955 to correct this information.
•All Critical Equipment or devices must contain a current emergency contact name and phone number
Turn off lights and equipment that do not need power.
All electrical equipment is susceptible to serious damage
due to power surges. Unplug all equipment not deemed
critical. Plug critical equipment in a designated
emergency power outlet.
Check on incubators and verify that they are on
emergency power or that the cell lines will be kept at the
appropriate temperatures.
Check if your cold room is on emergency power. If not,
move temperature sensitive materials or arrange for a dry
wet ice from Material Management. Consider
consolidating all freezer items that are not on emergency
power to freezers that are on emergency power.
Shut down experiments that involve hazardous material or
equipment which automatically restarts when power is
Power disruption may damage
computers, equipment or instruments
with automatic resets or logic
Turn all computers, equipment and
instruments off if it is not essential for
continuous operation.
Back up your files before the outage.
Emergency power outlets are recognizable by the red plate that covers the outlet (see below).
Items plugged into these outlets will remain on generator power during a power failure.
All freezers that need emergency power must be on red plug:
Power outlets that do not have a red plate are not on emergency power.
In the event of a power failure no power will be supplied to these outlets.
Freezers plugged into this type of plug should not contain sensitive material:
While the Power is Off
• Do not conduct experiments or work with hazardous materials (biological,
chemical or radiological) during power outages.
• Ensure experiments, equipment, machinery or apparatus are stabilized or safe.
• Cap volatile materials in fume hoods and close the sash. Do not use laboratory
facilities during the shutdown or enter areas that have storage of material that
require mechanical ventilation.
• Check equipment on emergency power regularly to ensure that it is running
properly. Do not connect non critical equipment on emergency power during a
disruption period.
• Disconnect equipment that runs unattended, and turn off unnecessary lights and
equipment. This will reduce the risk of power surges and other unforeseen
damage or injury that could result when the power comes on unexpectedly.
Avoid ignition sources such as Bunsen burners, candles, lighters, cigarettes, or
strikers during power outages.
Key Contacts (Getting Assistance)
UTPD - 567-8911 (emergency)
UTPD - 567-2800 (non-emergency)
Facilities Management – 567-2947
EH&S – 567-2955

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