Nor'Easter Riley Causing Massive Power Outages for Businesses Without Power Protection Sytems

March 02, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

As winter storm Riley continues its path through the Northeast, it’s leaving its mark behind.  As of Friday morning, nearly a million customers were already without power across a widespread impact region stretching from the Mid-Atlantic states to New England and the Great Lakes area.  Wind gusts exceeding 75mph and damaging rains are causing flooding, road closures, and downed power lines. Outage number will continue to climb, with many areas expected to remain without power through the weekend.

Nor’easters – like cyclones and hurricanes – typically combine heavy precipitation with high sustained winds, causing the massive threat of damage and injury and forcing school, business and airport closures in impacted areas. Federal offices in Washington D.C. were closed for the day and Washington Dulles International Airport halted operations for a period when staff were evacuated from the control tower.

Storms like this are not something to take lightly. Even though many businesses shut down to ensure employee safety, many overlook the well-being of their infrastructure, however, which is also susceptible to damage, and fail to properly protect their technology investments. In fact, many business leaders overlook the havoc that power outages can wreak, in general. It doesn’t take a massive Nor’easter to cause surges or disrupt power, and even a small surge can break fragile circuits and take down business networks and systems.

That’s why power protection systems are a must. UPS systems can provide backup power, at least on a temporary basis, to allow systems to be properly shut down if long-term backup generators aren’t available. Perhaps more importantly, in addition to providing a seamless transition to backup power, they also condition currents to protect against surges, which can also break circuits even if power never goes out. 

With lengthy outages, like many businesses are likely to experience this weekend, full backup power can be a costly expense, but UPS systems are a much more reasonable protective measure. They are undoubtedly a preferable alternative to the cost and business disruption of having to repair or replace servers, switches, or other equipment, including the time lost to installation, configuration, and restoring data (assuming the data was not corrupted or lost due to the damage).

Most businesses look at power protection reactively – much as consumers purchase gas-powered home generators after they’ve experienced extended outages. Storms, like Riley, serve as a reminder for all leaders to consider taking proactive steps to protect the businesses they have worked so hard to build.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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