Losing power

Dec. 1, 2011
The article in this issue entitled “Data center drives full recovery” tells the ultimately successful story of a medical center ...

From the December, 2011 Issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine

The article in this issue entitled “Data center drives full recovery” tells the ultimately successful story of a medical center that experienced a wake-up call when it suffered a power outage.

Between the time we received this article here at the offices of Cabling Installation & Maintenance, and the time it ultimately was put together in the format you see in this issue, we in southern New Hampshire were among those on the receiving end of the so-called “Snowtober” storm that hit parts of the Northeast on October 29.

Thankfully our offices were without electricity for only a matter of hours. However, many of us who work here found ourselves without power at our respective homes for several days. It was the topic of conversation around the water cooler for the entire week of October 31-November 4. “Is your power back on yet? Do you have a generator? Are you on town water or do you have a well?”

At Tift Regional Medical Center (back to the story in this issue ...) author Carol Everett Oliver explains, “a storm shut down the power and subsequently the network. Although the generator jumped into action, the transfer switch did not trip, resulting in failed uninterruptible power supply systems. It was a hard stop that jolted the information technology department and hospital administrators to immediately put together a team to research and build a solid network and data center.”

Around here, electrical utilities have come under the microscope for the length of time it took them to restore power to customers in the wake of Snowtober. Politicians called into radio shows and made self-aggrandizing statements about looking out for the people, etc. You know, the usual stuff. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if the utilities in this area either have better plans, or manage to better execute their plans, the next time around. And there will be a next time.

The conspiracy theorist in me keyed in on the news that came out about two weeks after we lost power. At that time my town began dealing with what is being described as a “minor outbreak” of whooping cough.

As a parent of school-age children, I tried to find out what I could about the ailment. It turns out the incubation period for pertussis is 10 to 14 days, and traces right back to the four to five days many of us spent living in cold homes. Thankfully, my kids are immunized. Nonetheless, sometimes the aftermath of an unexpected event takes a little while to come to fruition and can be more than bargained for.

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