How to Prepare Your Critical Systems for Hurricanes

Hurricanes are terrifying in their power to destroy homes and businesses with wind and water. Category 5 hurricanes have wind speeds of 157 mph and higher, according to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and can cause “total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

Facing such dangers, your South Florida business must be ready with a business hurricane preparedness plan.

Check and Double-Check

The Small Business Administration (SBA) prepares a handy checklist of steps every business must take in preparation for a hurricane and other natural disasters. Except for an official order to evacuate, you and critical systems employees can remain on site before, during and after the storm to ensure your business continues to function. Keep them well supplied and hurricane-ready.

Going through the checklist during the crisis is not readiness—it is reactionary. Be proactive, and organize your emergency response teams to know their jobs and demonstrate hurricane readiness.

Being prepared means that when a hurricane knocks out critical power, Florida businesses have to be ready to back up the public utility’s power with their own
power supply. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) protects your facility and equipment from outages that stop work flows, damage expensive equipment, or worse, cause complete failure of any critical parts of your infrastructure.

It is important to know that a UPS protects the power, and a generator is a power source. This is important because facilities that only have a generator and no UPS during a power outage/event will lose or “drop” their critical load or “output power.”

Having a UPS and a generator is essential for any facility or business that cannot afford to ever lose power.

Location, Location, Location

A UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and battery backup systems require frequent testing to ensure immediate access during a hurricane. It is recommended that they be tested quarterly as studies have shown that there is a sharp decrease in load losses with quarterly testing versus semi-annual or annual testing.

For UPS and battery backup systems, location is everything: many times they are located in basements and sub-basements due to their weight. This can be self-defeating in the event of tidal flooding or a storm surge.

A backup generator to keep critical systems (servers, medical equipment, banking records, electronic patient records, controller software) running is essential. This means you must also store a fuel supply on site, close to the generator, with an expectation that it may have to last for several days.

South Florida Critical Power

Having a hurricane plan is good, but if supplies and equipment are neglected on shelves and rooftops, your business may not be ready. Replace on-site supplies (water, food, first aid kits) regularly. Make certain your critical power systems are routinely maintained. Partner with South Florida Critical Power for immediate repair on all equipment.

As our name says, we are located in South Florida and we understand our region’s unique geography, how the weather can affect us all and the need to be prepared for emergency situations. Please contact us for more information.