Planned Power Outages Just as Damaging as Unexpected Ones

March 04, 2019

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

Most power outages are unexpected, but on occasion, businesses know in advance power will be shut down for maintenance or repairs.  That was the case in Youngstown, Ohio, recently, when Ohio Edison scheduled two outages in order to complete work at a US Postal Service office.

While the goal was to minimize the impact on businesses, which is why the outages were scheduled for Presidents Day, when many businesses were closed, those that were open for business had to find ways to overcome the 2-hour outages.  In some cases, businesses said they were not notified of the planned outages and were surprised to get to their offices and find the power out.

For some, it was an inconvenience more than anything else, while others found productive uses for the time, including on local foundation that scheduled an off-site meeting.  But, even they acknowledged it was impossible to tell how many people had tried to contact the organization due to the outage.

But, even businesses that were closed in observance of the holiday had to prepare.  Melissa Ames, vice president of BBB services at the Better Business Bureau of Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties explained, “We did have to take precautions for our computer and phone systems for the outage.”

That’s smart business.  Power outages – planned or unplanned – can easily damage the sensitive technology that powers communications systems and network equipment.  With planned outages, it’s possible to simply take technology offline before power is cut, eliminating risk to the equipment.

But, the best option from a general business continuity perspective is to have a power protection solution installed with UPS systems that will keep systems operating for a period and protect them from any damaging surges.  While systems may still need to be shut down – depending on the length of outages and the runtime provided by the installed UPS – the protection to equipment is even more important.  The cost and time of replacing or repairing damaged network equipment is likely to be much greater than the impact of any downtime while power is out.

That’s another reason so many businesses are moving to cloud services for communications, back-ups, and other business applications.  Even when power is out at the office, employees can remain functional at remote offices, homes, or anywhere else they have power and an Internet connection.  Combined with a power protection solution, it provides an optimal, affordable, business continuity solution for any company.

Edited by Erik Linask