Posts Tagged ‘Snowstorm’

Snow Disruptions

Monday, December 21st, 2009
Winter Storm

Winter Storm

A winter storm struck the East Coast this weekend, leaving up to two feet of snow, on what is traditionally the busiest shopping weekend of the holiday season. I hope your contingency plans included telecommuting for staff who could do so and e-commerce for your own shopping and for serving your home-bound customers. Airlines are rebooking passengers who were ticketed on canceled flights. According to flight logistics experts, the airlines need three days to rebook passengers and catch up for a single day of cancellations. A storm of this magnitude may require as many as five days. Of course, this bumps the displaced passengers against holiday travelers on one of the most congested travel times of the year. So from travel disruptions to lost sales, a snow storm can have major consequences for your business.

Spring Snow Storm Disrupts Small Businesses, Travelers and Residents

Monday, April 20th, 2009
Beautiful but destructive

Beautiful but destructive

Over the weekend, a powerful storm left more than three feet of snow across the Rocky Mountains and areas west of Denver, stranding hundreds of travelers, as airlines canceled flights. United Airlines, which has a hub at Denver International Airport, canceled 76 flights Friday, 14 on Saturday and delayed several others. Dangerous road conditions caused numerous traffic accidents across the area, one of which resulted in a fatality. The snow fall ranged from 3 to 10 inches in Denver to as much as 52 inches in Pinecliffe. The snow had prompted the closure of Interstate Highway 70 between Vail and Golden, forcing more than 500 people to spend the night at American Red Cross shelters in Idaho Springs and Georgetown. The National Guard delivered two truckloads of cots, blankets and food. About 15,000 homes and businesses in and around Denver were without power. Restoration of power was delayed by the lack of access to roadways caused by heavy snowfall. While severe snowstorms in the spring are unusual, power outages are not. This presents an opportunity for all small businesses to remember certain basic preparations for dealing with power outages.

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 ten 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 building 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. They often use their home and office computers with electricity delivered from a back-up generator, without the benefit of a UPS unit, and damage 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.

Basic measures of preparation.
Of course, all of the basic measures for preparation apply (keeping battery-operated radios, extra batteries, non-perishable foods, flashlights, bottled water, etc.) for both your home and your office. It also bears repeating that measures recommended for small business contingency will yield immediate benefits to your business in terms of improved operating efficiencies, even if disaster never strikes. Finally, remember that each suggestion put forward for small business contingency solutions can be applicable to home and to personal needs.