Hurricane Harvey in 2017 was a wake-up call to businesses and IT companies in Houston to be more ready for natural disasters. It was a reminder that the magnitude of such disasters can lead to billions of dollars in damage. That’s why every organization in the region should have a thorough disaster backup and recovery plan to stay in business.
Causes of Power Outages
Power outages can happen in different ways. Most Americans are aware of the devastating hurricanes in 2017 that knocked out power in the Gulf Region, East Coast, and Puerto Rico. Over 36 million people were affected by 3,526 power outages across the United States in 2017, according to Eaton’s Blackout Tracker Annual Report. That was over twice as many people affected by blackouts the previous year. The report revealed that the average downtime was 81 minutes, which can be alarming for a business.
California has now experienced the highest number of blackouts in the United States for nine straight years, with 438 outages in 2017. Some of the various causes of power outages include adverse weather, animals and equipment failure. During a storm, wind can knock down tree branches, which can land on power lines. In Fresno, California, 70,000 electricity customers lost power on May 17, 2018 when a car crashed into a utility tower.
Dealing with Disasters
The most prepared IT companies in Houston know how to deal with power failures because they either have backup generators or offsite locations. It’s ideal for any business to have at least backups of all their data and applications in three locations. Additionally, you need a disaster recovery plan that lays out the procedures when a power outage or other disaster affecting business continuity occurs. Ignoring this plan is high risk and can literally wipe out a company if critical data is lost, with inability of recovery.
Power surges that follow blackouts can cause severe hardware damage. Many times hardware must be replaced in such events, which can add up to expensive labor costs. It helps to have on-site uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), battery backup, load-capping software and portable mains distribution units (MDUs) with multiple outlets. Additional tips include:
- Using surge protectors for electronic equipment
- Disconnecting electrical devices during a heavy storm
- Finding out if your office complex is equipped with a backup generator
Disaster, whether natural or manmade, can cause power outages that disrupt business continuity. But choosing among experienced IT companies in Houston that are prepared with backup plans can save your firm from financial and data loss. Contact us now at ICS to learn more about how to keep your business running during emergencies.