Power Protection Proves Vital in San Andreas

February 08, 2017

By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer

It's a scenario that makes most small business leaders' collective blood run cold. Starting up normal opening processes, getting ready for what will hopefully be a busy and profitable day ahead when, at 8:30 a.m., the lights go out. So do the computers, and everything else that's plugged into a wall socket. It's a blackout, and without power protection, it's a crippling blow to a business. That's just what happened in San Andreas on Monday, and it's a wakeup call to businesses everywhere.

The day dawned normal in San Andreas before the power outage hit, and with it took much of the area's electricity away. Most of the town was out of power, with 3,000 customers reporting outages. The town itself only has 2,600 residents, with the excess and then some accounted for by outlying residents. Some in the town didn't lose power, but this was a comparatively small number.

Reports from provider Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E (News - Alert)) noted that the outage was caused by “equipment failure at a substation,” and power was restored after almost four hours without. The Pickle Patch Deli saw one of the worst problems, as customers discovered they were unable to pay with a credit card. Since many didn't have cash, that represented sales lost outright.

Stories like these are increasingly prevalent in the field, and are demonstrating the necessity of power protection. Whether using an uninterruptible power supply for those last few seconds of power that allow a user to save work and shut down safely or turning to complete generator and battery backups—or even just something as simple as some mobile workforce tools to allow workers to work from somewhere else that has power—having some kind of power protection system in place is vital to the ongoing health and safety of business operations.

We are dependent on power for everyday operations. The growth of online operations has made that an irrevocable fact; bandwidth requires power to operate. If your working day has ever been hamstrung by a network outage, then a power outage will be even worse. I speak here from experience; I've been blacked out in a working day more than once, but by using mobile workforce methods, I've been able to pack up and drive to somewhere else where power is working and carry on mostly as normal.

Power protection can take on many different forms, from the simple to the complex, and which is best depends largely on how a business is run. So consider just how important power is to your business, and then consider from there how to protect these systems from unexpected outages. It's either that or risk sending business out the door to competitors who will make these considerations.

Edited by Alicia Young

Article comments powered by Disqus

Power Your campus

Featured Whitepapers

Security & Power: The Critical Role of Power Protection for Security

This White Paper provides security users and installers with valuable information about the importance of power protection for security equipment.

Saving Time & Money with Remote Power Management

This White Paper provides statistics and information about the cost of downtime related to remote equipment, and how organizations can benefit from including remote power management products (IP-addressable PDUs) in their power protection strategy.

Powering Your Disaster Planning

The white paper describes key components of a comprehensive plan to prevent businesses and other organizations from suffering severe consequences as a result of a power outage.

Featured Technotes

What is 3-phase Power?

This installment of the TechNotes series takes you through the basics of single, dual, and 3-phase power, giving you the knowledge to decide which type of power is best for your needs.

Endeavor: Added Runtime vs. Added Cost

This TechNotes paper looks at the relationship between added cost and added runtime when including XL battery packs with Minuteman Endeavor 1kVA, 2kVA, & 3kVA UPSs.

Featured Podcast

The Importance of Remote Power Management for Disaster Preparedness

TMC podcast with Minuteman UPS/Para Systems on the importance of remote power management solutions for optimum power protection.