Power Outage in Santa Monica Disrupts Customers, Including City College

March 02, 2016

By Michael Guta - Contributing Writer

The power grid we rely on can stop delivering electricity for a myriad of reasons. Whether it is a rodent chewing on cables, or the first known successful cyber intrusion to knock a power grid offline in Ukraine in December of 2015, anything is possible. The power outage that took place on February 23rd in Santa Monica, California, wasn't as exotic as a high-tech cyberattack, but it nevertheless disrupted 3,255 Southern California Edison (News - Alert) (SCE) customers, including Santa Monica College (SMC) and other public and private organizations.

According to Sebastian Marquez-Mayorga of the thecorsaironline.com, the outage was caused by a malfunctioning overhead transformer, which lasted for about 50 minutes. During the 50 minutes, an individual was trapped in an elevator in SMC and several building on campus were without power.

Bruce Wyban, Chief Director of Facilities at Santa Monica College, told Marquez-Mayorga, "The #3 Parking structure, Admissions, Business, and Drescher building were all affected as a result of the outage which was localized primarily to the north side of the campus."

The facilities that were affected outside of SMC include the Santa Monica Courthouse, Santa Monica High School and some hotels.

This incident and many others like it point out power outages take place without warning day or night. If you are not prepared for the potential disruption of power, whether you are a large organization or an individual, at the very least it will be a great inconvenience and at worst cost you dearly.

Since we live in a connected world, the vast majority of people and organization rely on computers. If your computer, servers and other hardware are not adequately protected, a power outage, and subsequent surge when power is restored can literally fry all of your equipment. But the damage also extends to the data in said computing devices.

If a computer is not powered down properly, there is a chance everything you happen to be working on at the time of the outage, as well as other information, may be lost forever. Minuteman manufactures single and three phase UPS products, surge protectors, power distribution units and remote power management systems to stop this from happening.

The company's SentryHD monitoring and management software allows users to monitor the devices that are protected with Minuteman's equipment. In addition to ensuring your computer will not be fried, SentryHD also automatically saves and shuts down applications that are not finished on your computer, whether you are there or not. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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