Power Outage Impacts Businesses and Residents Across Three Kansas Counties

May 15, 2019

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

More than 3,000 customers across Lyon, Chase, and Coffey counties in Kansas lost power yesterday evening around 8:00pm.  About two-thirds of them were restored in about an hour.  Most others had power back by 3:30am, though about 100 customers were still out at 6:00am as they tried to get ready for their day.

The outages appeared to have resulted from a failure in a distribution line that caused equipment failure, causing power to go out in the area.  The outage impacted several substations, including those that serve the northern part of downtown Emporia, as well as Emporia State University.

Beyond the inconvenience of being without electricity, which both business and consumer customers depend on for their daily routines and operations, power outages pose a threat to technology.  That includes TVs, PCs, and other residential electronics, which is why homeowners should use surge protection devices.  But, surges and spikes that often accompany outages can severely damage business technology as well – the sensitive circuitry that makes systems function is susceptible when power exceeds specified thresholds.  Even minor surges without outages can weaken the circuits – and larger spikes often associated with outages can break them instantly. 

Failure of business systems – servers, switches, firewalls, storage devices, and any other equipment on which businesses depend – can lead to lengthy downtime to determine the cause of the failure and get a technician out to repair the damage and restore systems.  That timeline can be significantly extended if replacement equipment has to be located, shipped, installed, and configured.  Downtime could be in the days or even weeks, and comes with heavy financial impact, including both the cost of labor and equipment, but also lost business opportunity.

That’s why power protection systems are a must for any business, including schools that rely on their IT capabilities to function.  Power protection systems regulate power before it’s distributed to systems to ensure spikes and surges do not cause any damage.  In addition, their UPS capability can deliver runtime in the event of an outage to allow systems to be manually shut down to prevent data loss, or they can provide extended runtime to keep systems operational throughout outages.

Businesses must look beyond the mere disruption of not having power for an hour or two and recognize the greater damage potential of power outages.  There’s no way to predict outages, and the only way to safeguard against them is to install power protection systems.

Edited by Erik Linask