All along the east coast from Maine to Florida, Atlantic hurricane season is here. The period of increased storm activity began in June, and it will continue on through the end of November. Researchers at The Weather Company predict that this year's storm season will be the most active since 2012. Their forecast consists of 14 named storms during this time period, including eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes predicted for this season.
The last few hurricane seasons have been relatively mild, so many people have been lulled into a false sense of security. Make no mistake, these storms could cause extensive downtime if you're not prepared. If you have facilities located in the eastern United States, now is the time to make sure that your site is prepared with power interruption protection. If your critical environment equipment is damaged by an unexpected outage, the effects could be felt throughout your supply chain. Follow these guidelines to make sure your data center and your team are ready, just in case.
What can happen in a hurricane
Hurricanes, as we all know, are massive storm systems that can knock out entire power grids. Even though weather experts can track and predict their movements, hurricanes often change course and move unpredictably. If your site is in the vicinity of a hurricane or tropical storm, there are a number of things that can affect your data center:
- Flooding can damage electrical equipment.
- The disruption of cooling can cause equipment overheating and possible fires.
- Power outages can shut down hardware before it's safe, causing damage.
Prepare your team with emergency plans
Developing emergency protocols is a must. Consider the possibilities of a severe hurricane or tropical storm: Flooding, heavy winds and, of course, power outages. Create a list of protocols that you and your team will follow in the event of a severe storm. Make sure your IT staff is aware of these protocols through training, and have them posted where employees can refer to them.
Prepare personnel with drills to keep them sharp. In these drills, focus on preventative maintenance, print distribution, shift hand-offs, the exchange of backup tapes, run scheduling and remote console monitoring. By going over these procedures, your team will be sharp and ready in the event of a major storm affecting power. Most importantly, remember that employee safety is paramount.
"It's important to maintain continuous power to your critical environment equipment."
Prepare your equipment with power conditioning systems
In the event of a power disruption, it's important to maintain continuous power to your critical environment equipment. If your data center hardware is shut down improperly, data can be corrupted or lost, and the equipment itself can be damaged. Determine what hardware is the most important. This is the critical equipment that will need the highest levels of protection.
Redundancy allows for backup power in the event of a storm-related disruption. A UPS system can be connected to your most important equipment ahead of time. If there's a power outage, the UPS will kick into action immediately, supplying continuous power long enough for you to start your emergency generator, or to initiate a safe shutdown. With a UPS system, your data center infrastructure will be prepared for any type of power disruption, ensuring the safety of your equipment and the integrity of your data.
This hurricane season, make sure that your data center is prepared for power interruptions. Custom Networks can analyze your IT efficiency for any problems, and make sure your sites have redundancies with APC products. Contact the Custom Networks team today for more information on critical environment power protection.