Get Ahead of the Forecast: Preparing End Users for Power Outages Caused by Extreme Weather Events

Devastating floods in Northern California and Houston. Tornadoes in New Orleans. Blizzards in the Northeast. That’s just a sample of the natural disasters that have struck so far this year. And if 2017 is anything like last year, we can expect a lot more in the U.S. and around the world.

In 2016, earthquakes struck in Italy and Japan, massive floods drenched parts of China, and a hurricane killed hundreds of people in Haiti. By the end of 2016, natural disasters had killed 8,700 people globally and caused $175 billion in losses, according to CNN. The United States suffered 15 weather disasters that each topped $1 billion in losses.

As the winter shifts into spring in the U.S., tornado season starts, then comes hurricane season. And the threat of wildfires seems to be present year-round these days.

Each natural disaster has the potential to take human life, which is the most tragic outcome, but also cause other types of damage. Severe weather can be a big problem for businesses operating in disaster-prone regions such as Tornado Alley and coastal areas. Natural disasters often lead to power outages that disrupt business operations, potentially harming IT infrastructure and destroy business data.

Businesses need to prepare for and mitigate power outages caused by natural disasters as part of their business continuity planning, which should also include data backup and recovery and a well-defined plan for how to resume operations following a disaster. An integral piece of this kind of planning is to implement a reliable power backup solution.

Ongoing Effort

IT solution providers should discuss disaster planning and business continuity with clients on an ongoing basis.

This time of year blizzards can knock out power for hours or days. Hurricanes are a real threat in summer and fall to Caribbean islands, Mexico and the US, while tornadoes tend to form over the plains states when moist air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with dry air from the North. In California, there’s always the threat of an earthquake and, these days, atmospheric rivers have been generating massive amounts of rain. Atmospheric rivers, which also have affected New Zealand, Northern Europe and South America, are long, narrow streams of wind-driven water vapor that cause severe storms.

Remind customers of these dangers and work with them to periodically test their continuity plans to ensure the required technology is working properly and that employees follow disaster recovery procedures.

Too many companies realize after suffering an outage that they really weren’t prepared to deal with it. The less prepared they are, the costlier recovery will be. For instance, lost productivity caused by a power outage may never be recovered.

Uninterrupted Power

Your customers need a predictable and consistent power supply to help them weather whatever Mother Nature throws at them. Delivered as a managed service, an uninterrupted power supply becomes a reliable backup to the infrastructure’s backup. If all else fails, the power supply will still run – at least long enough to shut down operations properly if it comes to that.

While some natural disasters that cause long-term outages increase the potential of downtime, combining managed power services with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) helps protect your customers’ businesses.

If you aren’t delivering managed power yet, find out how to get started here. Then talk to customers about the importance of protecting against power failures. Remind them that the next severe weather event is never too far off.

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