There Will be a Power Outage: Plan Accordingly

March 16, 2016

By Michael Guta - Contributing Writer

As much as we rely on electric power, the vast majority of us don't plan for a power outage. The fact of the matter is, power outages are a common occurrence, and they take place without any warning, affecting millions of people every year in the U.S. alone. And as the grids supplying electricity get older, the problem will only get worse. According to Insideenergy.org, grid outages doubled every five years between 2000 and 2014. So before you become a victim of this eventuality, you can plan accordingly to protect all of your consumer electronics, computers and appliances, as well as having back up power just in case an outage lasts longer than expected.

In an article written by B. Michael Thurlow, the fire chief of Scarborough, Maine, on leader.mainelymediallc.com, the chief highlights many of the tips the FEMA Ready.gov website recommends to make the necessary preparations for a long term power outage.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes plans for extreme emergencies and catastrophic scenarios that could potentially leave people without power for days, or even weeks. But this doesn't mean you can't apply it to your personal or business life even if you don't live in a region that is prone to these types of events.

We live in a connected world, and if there is an extended power outage your smartphone, tablet and laptop will run out of power of quickly. According to FEMA, a hand crank USB cell phone emergency charger, a solar charger, 12-volt USB adapter and an inverter for your car are practical alternatives for charging these devices. For the full recommendations of FEMA, please visit their site, here.

While most of us will hopefully never be in a major disaster, we will still experience power outages that last several hours. But even these outages have to be taken seriously, because the damage they cause to the devices we have plugged in our walls is very real.

The sensitive computing devices in TVs, refrigerators and microwaves as well as computers themselves have to be protected with surge protectors and uninterruptable power supply (UPS) to ensure a surge doesn't destroy them, and they can power down properly. This is especially true for computers, where valuable data can be lost if it doesn't have the right UPS system in place with shut-down capabilities.

The SentryHD feature on Minuteman UPS' provides total control and knowledge of your power and device status. According to the company, the auto-save feature of the SentryHD application will save files before it initiates a proper shut down sequence on your computer.

Considering the equipment surge protectors and UPS' safeguard, they provide one of the highest ROI when it comes to protection. So before you become one of the millions of people that will be part of a power outage this year, make sure you visit the FEMA site, and protect your electronics with right equipment. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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