As severe weather approaches, it is essential to plan for what stormy weather often brings – power outages.
Weather-related power outages are common in Washington. Our state is well-known for beautiful green trees and rainy winter seasons. Unfortunately, combining these two often results in tree limbs falling onto power lines, resulting in local power outages. For local business owners, it is so important to plan for these occurrences.
So how can you protect yourself from the inevitable winter-season power outage? We recommend purchasing an “umbrella” of sorts for your business – an Uninterruptible Power Supply. (already have one? skip to the end of this article for a tip on testing your current battery backup!)
An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is one of the most important things to have for your business, because it will help your business avoid downtime and data loss. Essentially, a UPS is the same thing as a backup battery; it is a device that is connected between your computer and outlet that provides your equipment with power. This device includes a battery that will kick in if and when a power outage occurs, delivering consistent power to your connected equipment!
Still not convinced? All of the backups and redundant systems in the world won’t do you any good if your computer doesn’t have power. Most organizations have a good UPS system as their first line of defense. There are a variety of benefits a UPS will bring to your company:
Protects Against Power Surges: Storms cause unsteady electrical currents throughout a community. When the electrical current going to your device is not steady, it can have serious consequences for your PC and networking equipment. A UPS provides consistent backup power during inconsistent power availability. The UPS will stabilize the voltage passing through it, which will protect any data and computer equipment that is connected to it. Sounds like a great investment for a business in Washington!
The Gift of Time: Precious time is gained by using a UPS battery. In the event of a power outage, the battery backup will turn on automatically. Depending on the type of battery backup you choose, it will keep your server or computer running for and additional 30 minutes to 2 hours!
Keeps Data Safe and Protected: Even if your backup battery only allows you to have an extra 30 minutes of power, this time is crucial. You will be able to save any documents you were working on, and safely shut down your computer or server. This added time could save you big bucks in the long run, and even avoid data hiccups!
If your business resides in the local Kitsap, Jefferson, or Clallam counties, it is helpful to view local information about power outages. Below are links to outage maps and estimated times that service will be restored for Puget Sound Energy, Wave Cable, Century Link and Comcast. We have also included phone numbers you can use to report your outage! We recommend keeping a hard copy of these numbers so they can easily be accessed in the case of an emergency:
Puget Sound Energy: 1-888-225-5773
Wave Cable: 1-866-928-3123 http://downdetector.com/status/wave-broadband
Century Link: 1-877-837-5738 http://internethelp.centurylink.com/internethelp/centurylink-outage-map.html
Comcast: 1-877-338-5965 http://outage.report/xfinity
Already have a UPS? UPS systems often sit for years without being used or checked on. Have you tested yours recently?
To test your UPS, we recommend calling our office – we can dispatch a tech onsite to perform some quick tests. You could perform the tests yourself, but you will run the risk of the UPS not working and possibly causing a crash. Testing includes unplugging the UPS from the wall to simulate an outage and see how the transition goes. It should maintain power long enough for you to safely save documents and shut the connected devices down (again, if it doesn’t work… this may cause big issues on your network; if a tech is present, they can quickly resolve these issues). Give us a call to help out!
For more recommendations on how to handle a power outage, read our post “A Business Owner’s Guide for Power Outages“. To learn more about battery backups and how they will benefit your business, call our office today. Our techs would love to discuss your battery options and recommend a plan that will help best protect your business!
Kitsap Networking Services, Inc. & Sequim I.T. (360) 516-6741