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Power Protection Featured Article

June 05, 2014

Hurricane Season Means Trouble for Unprotected Businesses

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

For many, June represents the real start of summer. Warm weather, cool drinks, maybe some vacation around the corner.

But June also can be a time of devastation. June is the start of hurricane season.

There are an average of 10 storms large enough to get names of their own each year, with roughly five that develop into hurricanes each hurricane season. That number can vary a lot, however. In 2005, for instance, there were 28 tropical cyclones, 15 of which became hurricanes.

Power companies in hurricane-prone states are bracing for this year’s onslaught, and so should businesses.

In Georgia, for instance, Georgia Power has alerted families across the state to be ready with a safety plan, supplies, and emergency equipment. Annually it sets up an Outage and Storm Center to support its 2.4 million customers during hurricane season.

Businesses in hurricane-prone areas should also prepare; leaving damage control to power companies is a recipe for disaster.

Reliable power is something that many businesses don’t think about, but the cost from power disruption can be horrifying. For a restaurant, even a few hours of lost business can cost thousands and wreck supplies. For firms that host their own servers or communications equipment, it can potentially corrupt data or send whole staffs home. For firms working under deadline, it can also wreck business deals.

That’s why every business needs to have reliable uninterruptible power supplies. While not every storm may cause Hurricane Katrina-like damage, most can take down power lines and cause electrical outages. With uninterruptible power, however, businesses can keep on humming—or at least power down and make provisions for a prolonged outage in an orderly manner.

It also is important to have a good business disaster plan, something that many businesses fail to make since such plans seem unnecessary.

With changing weather patterns, however, having a good plan for challenging weather is more important than ever. It also can make a larger difference than ever before, since there is the possibility to pivot to a different location or have workers work remotely if proper planning is in place.

The ability of a business to overcome a power failure or pivot seamlessly takes planning, however. Sadly, this is something that far too few businesses actually achieve.

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