Seattle Readies Power Protection as Winds Rise

April 07, 2017

By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer

When the winds rise, when the thunder rolls, when the snow flies...these are the times that make us either wish we had power protection measures in place, or make us glad they're there already. That's what's going on in Seattle, as Seattle City Light is issuing a warning to users to prepare for power outages, and ready power protection measures as the company itself is.

With winds projected to reach 50 to 60 miles per hour—reports as of the time of this writing suggest that those speeds have already been seen—it represents circumstances where outages are almost a foregone conclusion. Between direct damage to lines and poles, indirect damage from trees falling on lines and poles, and even outlandish tertiary situations like cars buffeted by winds crashing into poles, there are  a lot of ways to lose grid power. That's an environment tailor-made for power protection systems.

Seattle City Light offered a list of tips for users in this time, including a special set of warnings for power protection systems; those using generators must be cautions with these, including using portable generators in outdoor, well-ventilated areas. Those who require power to live—like those on oxygen machines and the like—should make particular preparation for such events.

Businesses too need to prepare for such situations in advance. When an outage hits, it's too late to plan ahead, but with some decent lead time—like starting today—it's easier to be ready for the next outage. Not every business can just go with a backup generator, but those who can likely should to help keep business rolling in the event of power loss. Even an uninterruptible power supply can be just enough juice to shut down systems safely, saving work for another day, instead of losing work along with power. There are even some innovative methods, like planning mobile workforce operations that allow employees to carry on with work by the simple expedient of going somewhere that didn't just have a power outage. This only works if the outage is at least somewhat localized, but not many outages cover an entire state.

No matter what method is used in terms of power protection, engaging in such methods helps ensure that work gets done and profitability is protected. An outage is too late to plan, but with the next outage likely only a matter of time away, planning for that outage will be quite worthwhile.

Edited by Alicia Young

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