It’s time for organizations to actively mitigate and plan for disruptions of electricity and natural gas. The painful reality is that our power utilities aren’t as reliable as we want to believe, and their facilities are vulnerable to attack.
Over the past few years, the warnings and incidents have become progressively more frequent and alarming:
• Regional power generation and distribution have failed in severe weather events.
• The power industry has warned utilities cannot sufficiently harden their facilities against sabotage.
• Utilities’ control infrastructures are at heightened risk of cyber attacks.
• During outages, utilities prioritize residential, medical and emergency management customers over business users.
Here is what you can do to dial up your power resilience:
• Identify priority systems required to meet your recovery priorities.
• Accurately quantify the power required by priority systems.
• Determine how best to meet your priorities, e.g. onsite power generation, battery backup, fuel storage, switching equipment, power conditioning, etc.
• Identify utility rebates and tax incentives to reduce your costs.
• Comply with utility requirements and air quality restrictions.
When the above steps are completed and equipment is in place:
• Update your business continuity plan and procedures.
• Train personnel to execute recovery procedures.
• Periodically test your people, systems and procedures.
Finally, update your plan as your priority systems and power needs change, and based on experience with outages.
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