Hundreds of Thousands without Power in Ireland after Hurricane Ophelia

October 19, 2017

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

The hurricane season has already wreaked havoc in many U.S. states and Carribbean islands, which are facing extensive recovery periods due to storms Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  While the Atlantic hurricane season typically presents a greater threat to the western Atlantic and Caribbean, hurricane Ophelia has bucked that trend, leaving hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses without power in Ireland.  Nearly every part of the country has been impacted, according to utility company ESB Networks. 

It’s the strongest storm to hit Ireland in more than 50 years; it also tied a record that has stood for more than a century, becoming the tenth consecutive storm to reach hurricane status. 

With such a high frequency of damaging storms, power infrastructures have been devastated in several areas hit by these major hurricanes.  Meteorologists have been grappling with the causes of such an historic hurricane season, with the general consensus being that warmer waters in the Atlantic and lack of wind shear have been key to the massive storms.  Why these factors have coincided as they have, however, remains a debate.

But, with each passing storm, residents and businesses are faced with repairing and rebuilding homes and businesses, which, while a daunting task to say the least, offers an opportunity to prepare for the next outage, small or large.

Countless residents find comfort in installing permanent or temporary generators, ensuring electricity during outages.  With each major outage, the demand for generators peaks as many homeowners seek to prepare for a coming event and, in the aftermath of storms, others follow a similar course of action to ensure they are prepared for the next one.

Businesses are no different.  While they may not have families with food supplies and hot water to contend with, they have tremendous investments in technology that need to be protected.  As resilient as modern technology may be, power surges and sudden outages can easily damage sensitive equipment, making business continuity impossible, even without loss of power for an extended period.

Much like residential generators, power protection systems are often a reactionary measure, installed after businesses have had to incur costly expenses to repair or replace network and data center equipment.  Instead, businesses should strongly consider installing a properly sized power protection system before they experience a major power incident.  The down time alone is incentive enough, even before factoring in cost of new equipment and time to install and configure systems, and restore lost data (assuming the data was backed up).

There’s no way to turn a devastating storm into a positive event, but businesses, like homeowners, can take steps to mitigate losses in most cases.  

Edited by Erik Linask

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