Posts Tagged ‘Missouri Storms’

Storms Leave 150,000 in Missouri Without Power

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
Power Outages Affect Us All

Power Outages Affect Us All

This weekend, hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed in Kansas, Illinois, Kentucky and  Missouri as a result of powerful storms. The Governor of Missouri declared a state of emergency as 150,000 residents of his state were without power. This is a timely reminder to evaluate your protection against power outages, starting with the protection of computers and data. Even when electrical power is available, there are quality issues, like peaks in voltage as well as micro-outages. Since IT equipment is sensitive, use an uninterruptible power supply unit (UPS), which is usually a surge protector, together with a small buffer battery that would supply energy for about 10 minutes after the electricity supply is terminated, enough to finish important work and to shut down the system. Most units support an automatic shutdown before the battery is completely depleted. Some buildings supply self-generated backup power. Please note that this power is usually much “dirtier” than power from the outlet. Under these circumstances, you must use a UPS unit, preferably one that is designed to smooth out erratic electricity supply.

Certain high-rise apartment and office buildings have back-up generators that provide low levels of power for up to fourteen hours after termination of the central electrical supply. Many workers and residents of these buildings mistakenly believed that a volt of electricity is a volt of electricity irrespective of whether it comes from the central utility or a back-up generator. During a recent power outage, they used their home and office computers with electricity delivered from a back-up generator, without the benefit of a UPS unit, and damaged their computers in the process. Also, remember to turn off appliances and equipment during a power outage as power supply may be erratic when it is initially restored.