17,000 in Johnson City Blacked Out: Are You Ready for the Next Outage?

November 11, 2016

By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer

The fragility of the power grid in general is increasingly well-known these days as news of power outages comes in from all over. One of the latest such incidents took place in Johnson City, Tennessee, where a failure at the Johnson City Power Board's primary substation sent over 17,000 people into the dark for some time.

The problem was traced back to a breaker issue at the substation near West State of Franklin Road and West Market Street early Friday morning. Though it was unclear just how many people were without power, reports from the power board suggested the numbers was over the previously-mentioned 17,000. Lights were reported down along not only State of Franklin Road, but also along North Roan Street, and even East Tennessee State University lost its power for some time.

Though the outages didn't last long, with most expecting complete restoration by 12:30 that morning, one thing became clear: being overly reliant on the power grid could be a recipe for disaster. Perhaps more than anything, this outage drove home the clear need for some kind of backup power system. The power can go out at any time, for any reason, including reasons that aren't immediately clear or that may not even be anywhere near you. From animals interacting with transformers to car accidents, anything can happen to those vital poles and wires that keep so much of our lives going.

Thankfully, there are no shortage of options when it comes to power protection. From something as simple as an uninterrupted power supply to provide that extra few minutes of power to back up work and shut down properly to complete power generation systems, there are lots of options to keep the juice flowing when it's most needed. Sometimes it can even be a way to garner positive media exposure; those who bring in green power options like wind turbines and solar panels can benefit from promoting such options. Sometimes it can be as simple as allowing employees more remote workforce options, and letting them work in other places where the power is on, like at home or at a coffee shop a town or two over.

Regardless of what method is used, being prepared for unexpected power outages can mean the difference between a day lost and a day mildly inconvenienced. Having a day when competitors have nothing can be a huge edge, and with backup power systems, a business will always be ready to take on the market no matter what the power grid does.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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