How to Prepare for Big Storms and Probable Power Outages
Over 60 Million Americans are in the path of this week’s blizzard. The National Weather Service and the news media are using terms such as “historic” or “monster” and “life threatening.” The warnings are clear – the area from Washington DC through New York City, Boston, and to Downeast Maine are in for a major snow event with downed trees and likely power outages. It came upon us quickly – just over the weekend and isn’t allowing much time for preparation.
With the first flakes already starting to fall, there wasn’t much notice for this one and it’s likely that there’s a bit of a scramble going on in many offices as they prepare to be closed for the next couple of days. As IT professionals, the pressure is on to make sure downtime is minimized and normal business operations continue as much as possible despite the physical office space being closed.
To try to help with your preparations, we’ve put together a list of 3 Things to Check Before you Leave the Office Today.
#1 – Is your network protected from a power outage?
It’s likely that most offices will be closed tomorrow. But we all know that doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done. Chances are your company’s employees will want to log into the office and get some work done while the weather keeps them housebound. Check your modems and routers, are they all connected to a UPS such as the new APC Smart-UPS Online SRT? Your network is the backbone of your business and while modems and routers don’t draw much power, without them, your business is shut down so make providing back-up power to this critical equipment a priority today.
#2 – Check the batteries in all of your UPS equipment
It’s easy to concern ourselves with only the main UPS in the building, but be sure you take a look at all of the small UPSs installed throughout your organization. And don’t forget those at branch offices. You may be wondering, there’s not that much time so even if you found a bad battery, there’s not much you can do about it unless you had a spare on hand, right? You may not have time to purchase and replace the battery, but you do have time to find an alternative UPS to protect the load. Consider the criticality of all your IT equipment and prioritize. Make sure the important stuff is protected.
#3 – Review the Settings in PowerChute Network Shutdown
Make sure you have the latest version of PowerChute Network Shutdown v3.1 installed and configured the way you need it. This latest version is VMWare ready and can automatically work with your Distributed Resource Scheduler to migrate virtualized servers. PowerChute also makes sure that, if needed, your equipment shuts down gracefully and in the correct order so there is minimal disruption to critical processes. PowerChute is a free download available from the APC Website.
There’s a lot to do today and hopefully your organization doesn’t experience any power outages that jeopardize your company’s ability to operate normally throughout the storm and in the days following. Please contact Schneider Electric if this storm reveals any vulnerabilities in your power protection and we can work together to optimize your power infrastructure.