Ice Storms and Power Outages Go Hand in Hand

December 03, 2015

By Michael Guta - Contributing Writer

As the leaders from 195 countries descended on Paris for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the increased awareness scrutinize every severe weather phenomenon. The ice storm that wreaked havoc in the U.S. over the Thanksgiving weekend is a great example. Along with the loss of too many lives, the storm was also responsible for power outages throughout the Midwest. In just two states, Kansas and Oklahoma, more than 80,000 people experienced power outages.

As reported on ksn.com, hundreds of Westar Energy customers were without power during the storm in east Kansas, with Hutchinson and Reno Counties experiencing around 4,100 outages. Additional outages were also reported from Salina through Manhattan.

According to the power company, power lines were damaged from branches and trees that couldn’t support the freezing rain. If the trees happen to be around power lines and they break, they take the line with them, causing outages. And with a storm this severe, it was inevitable outages were going to take place, but this was more than officials expected.

Since strange weather phenomena are going to be commonplace, you should take the necessary precautions to ensure your appliances, consumer electronics and computing devices are protected during an outage, as well as when the power comes back on.

In many instances, a blackout or brownout is accompanied with spikes and surges when the power is restored. And if you don’t have the right surge protectors or UPS systems in place, you could lose your equipment, and more importantly the data on your computing devices.

Minuteman, a manufacturer of Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs), surge protectors, Remote Power Managers (RPMs) and Power Distribution Units (PDUs), includes its SentryHD Management Software to protect computing devices and the data they contain so they can shut down properly.

Depending on the type of configuration customers deploy, the software can be set up to carry out different tasks and send notification options. This includes performing scheduled shutdowns and restarts; auto-save of data; automatic notifications with email, SMS and network broadcast of user-defined UPS events; and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) integration with notification via SMS, e-mail, voice alarm, network broadcast and SNMP trap.

Whenever a powerful storm such as the one last week takes place, they are said to be storms of the century, but they are happening with too much regularity to keeping calling them that. If you happen to live in that area, or anywhere else for that matter, protecting your computers with a surge protector, UPS and an application such as the SentryHD Management Software is an insurance policy you can’t afford to be without.

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