Car Knocks Businesses Offline for Morning Rush

April 27, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

Businesses on Main Street in Oak Hill, West Virginia were without power most of the morning on April 25, when a car traveling on the street lost control and struck a power line.  While the damage wasn’t significant enough to cause a long-term outage, owners and managers complained about not being able to open their businesses. 

It’s a “big time inconvenience,” Ann Rose, who works at a local antique shop, told WVSN TV, the local CBS affiliate. “Everybody was sitting in their windows, looking out, watching the power guys try to get the power back on.”

Oak Hill is small town with a population of only about 8,500, and Main Street is home to many of its businesses, which were forced to open around midday, when power was restored.  For some, like K and K Antiques, it created a major hassle, since the shop is only open three days a week, and others, like the local Wendy’s, lost their daily morning customers.

Power outages are never a positive for businesses – the hope is they are short-lived and operations can be back to normal quickly.  Too often, however, the greater damage comes not from the lack of power, but from the surges when power is lost and restored.  Spikes in power can damage unprotected equipment, causing them to fail and potentially corrupting critical data.  In fact, surges can happen at any time, even if power isn’t lost.

Businesses place high importance on cybersecurity today (although, often after a breach), but protecting physical assets is equally important for operational continuity.  Owners and managers should understand the potential for lost business if critical equipment has to be repaired or replaced, and proactively take steps to safeguard their infrastructure. 

UPS and power protection systems provide that security against electrical damage.  They also have the added benefit of providing backup runtime for connected equipment, allowing systems to remain operations during shorter outages, and allowing for proper shutdown when backup power is depleted. Like cybersecurity, power protection is often an afterthought, but both should be part of proactive operational continuity planning and investment.

Edited by Erik Linask