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Power Protection Featured Article

December 05, 2012

Going Back to the Basics for Power Protection

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

With Hurricane Sandy long gone from the skies, the devastation of her 900-mile wide storm remains crystal clear as people still struggle from severe power loss. Disaster preparedness is obviously one topic that shouldn’t be dismissed when it comes to both our safety and mission critical equipment. In today’s modern era, this translates to the many electronic devices that help us run businesses, but what if this technology fails you? It’s not an uncommon occurrence, and unfortunately, devastating storms of the past have proved this to be true.

Of course, no business is good without a person behind it, so despite the storm’s end, here’s some good reminders one should consider in preparing for future storms and power outages. While these steps may seem simple and common sense, it’s not a bad idea to refresh your memory of these important items of what to do and when the power goes out.

First of all, make sure there’s a weather emergency plan, including keeping a list of important numbers and knowing the best evacuation route if the emergency requires one. If you’re separated from your family, know how to get in touch and together safely. In this day and age, we so often run to our mobile devices or a computer for instant access that we often lose sight of simpler means of communications.

Take our dependence on mobile data and IP communications, where we often forget that in the event of a major power failure, these sorts of devices very well may not work. And while most cell towers have emergency backup generators to keep their signals working, they, too, can run out of fuel. Because of this, it’s not a bad idea to keep old fashioned walkie-talkies on hand, ready to go in the event of a natural disaster. It may seem simple, but it will keep the lines of communication with family should you find yourselves separated.

Bonus: If you really want to feel like Inspector Gadget, you can pick up a pair of walkie talkie watches, which are really PMR 446 Long Range Walkie Talkies boasting effective range for over one mile in favorable to harsh conditions.

When it comes to major appliances, a simple flip of the switch will do. This will help prevent serious damage if and when the power goes – not to mention it will save thousands of dollars in repairs and replacement later on.

It’s a good idea to keep legacy equipment handy, like a good ol’ fashioned battery-operated radio. This is especially helpful to listen for news at the top of each hour or to find out when the power might be restored. Many are foregoing battery operated and installing apps on their smartphones that can pick up streaming radio from various local stations and relying on their data plans to inform them of the events during a power failure.

Of course, batteries run out on smartphones, so unless you know your data is iron clad and that you’ll have battery backup, it couldn’t hurt to invest in an inexpensive battery operated AM/FM radio. Your main concern is being able to receive local and state news broadcasts, and a quality AM/FM band radio will do this just fine.

If you have a regular wood stove or fireplace, you can use it for heat; however, do not use kerosene heaters, BBQs, or any outdoor type heater inside. Such devices create poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide, which are extremely dangerous and deadly.

Of course, the main point is that investing in proper power protection solutions means getting to avoid these alternative, more basic means altogether. In today’s tech-era, we have become so accustomed to a continuous, uninterrupted supply of electricity that we are usually unprepared when this supply is cut off by storms, weather or other accidents.

Therefore, it’s critical to invest in an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or a standby generator from a long-standing, trusted provider. While the two are different, each serve an important purpose in keeping things powered up if you’re stuck in a powerless home for an extended period of time.

Minuteman UPS/Para Systems (News - Alert) offers a variety of UPSs for those who need to be “always on” during a power failure. Additionally, its simple online tool can help you size your needs, whether you need power for just one piece of equipment or many, essentially covering all of the bases.

Following these suggestions will make it easier to cope with a power outage. Think ahead and be prepared for an emergency by having a solid plan for your household.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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