Local Governments Can't Be Guilty of Ignoring Power Protection Needs

August 18, 2017

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

Yesterday, a power outage impacting the Government Center area shut down the Municipal Court of Atlanta for the day.  The outage resulted when a motor vehicle accident knocked down power lines on Whitehall Street.  Other services impacted included the ATL311 Customer Service Center, the City of Atlanta Wellness Center, as well as the parking decks at the Government Center and City Plaza. 

While power was restored in the afternoon and the ATL311 facility was able to resume operations, the Municipal Court was closed for the remainder of the day.

This isn’t the first courthouse to be closed due to an unexpected power outage but, more importantly, it underscores the need for government facilities to have appropriate power management systems in place to support tax-paying residents who have a reasonable expectation that services will be available, especially in highly localized outage situations.

Not only is government equipment and technology in danger of being damaged by surges, both when an outage occurs and when power is restored, but sensitive data and information can be lost, corrupted, or exposed if network and storage equipment is damaged.  And, of course, there’s the general disruption of business, including the need to reschedule court appearances, which is both a burden for government employees and citizens, alike.

Safeguards to protect against equipment damage, while also ensuring power continuity, can be installed in a variety of configurations and, when combined with backup power systems or generators, will allow government services to operate without interruption.  While any business should consider having power protection and UPS systems in place as part of their operational continuity strategy, government facilities, due to their nature as public and taxpayer services, should be the among the first to develop and implement continuity plans.  While there is an initial capital expense involved, the long-term benefits of power management capabilities outweigh those costs, both in terms of cost benefit and service capabilities.

Edited by Alicia Young

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