A massive power outage in Omaha, Nebraska this week highlights why power protection needs to be a priority within the education sector. Severe storms in the area initially cut power to eight public school buildings, and two were left in the dark during regularly scheduled school hours. Students were not allowed to enter those buildings during the outage, which led to fights and other disruptions as they wandered the school grounds.
Similar outages have been reported throughout the country in the past few weeks due to extreme weather, fires and other natural disasters. The incidents point to a pressing need for proper power protection in the education sector to ensure hardware, software and sensitive data aren’t impacted in the event of an outage.
Losses from an overnight outage in Harris County, Texas are estimated at more than $20 million, and the loss of power impacted 75,000 customers, including schools and businesses. That outage was caused by a major transformer fire at the CenterPoint Energy substation and while the company was able to restore power in time for regularly scheduled school hours, parents were warned to exercise caution due to flashing traffic lights.
With an increasing number of schools offering students mobile devices and online collaboration and sharing solutions, the need for proper power protection can’t be ignored. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) can go a long way toward ensuring hardware doesn’t get fried in the event of an outage, and can keep online resources up and running even if an outage occurs.
Record-breaking temperatures and extreme weather on a global basis are becoming the norm, and organizations need to take measures to protect their hardware, software and data. Educational institutions are no exception, and school IT departments need to ensure they are prepared for inevitable power outages.