5 Things You Need to Know About Summer Blackouts

Posted by Melissa Tamberg on August 13, 2018


1. Summer outages really pack the heat. Over the past decade, Eaton’s Blackout Tracker has logged more outages in June, July and August than any other months of the year. Even worse, the total number of summer outages has steadily grown, from 1,005 events in 2012, to 1,457 in 2016—representing a 45 percent increase! Every summer, an average of nearly 4 million people are affected by blackouts that collectively encompass almost 30,000 hours—that’s 125 days!

 

2. Mother Nature certainly doesn't take a summer vacation. Quite the contrary! Because summer is the warmest season and the time of year with the most energy in the atmosphere, thunderstorms are most prevalent between May and August; hurricanes wreak havoc from June to September; and monsoons make their mark beginning June 15. Weather-related outages that occur each summer are on the rise, with a current average of 410 per season.

 

3. Summer weather has become super-sized. From wildfires and heat waves to droughts and hurricanes, extreme weather events are becoming even more extreme, according to a growing number of climatologists who believe these events are being exacerbated by climate change. Just consider the multitude of record-smashing natural disasters that occurred in the U.S. during the summer of 2017, including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and more than 110 large fires.

 

4. Grid vulnerabilities can be scorching. All those air conditioners take a toll; the demand on the power grid doubles during the summer, increasing the risk of unplanned outages. This added strain also causes the components in your electronic equipment to run hotter and wear out faster.

 

5. Things get really squirrelly in the heat. Animal antics heat up in the summer — 40 percent of the past decade’s creature-caused blackouts occurred during the summer months. While squirrels are the leading culprit, other instigators include birds, cats, rodents, raccoons, beavers, snakes, mountain lions and bears, oh my! 


Unexpected downtime can result in an interruption to your operations, lost or corrupted files, hardware malfunctions, the inability to access the critical systems, and more. When considering the fortitude of your backup power solution, ask yourself this question: Can your business afford to lose $100,000 per hour? That’s the most recent price tag associated with just 60 minutes of downtime, according to a study by ITIC. Despite the potential perils of summer, there are steps you can take to prevent your organization from getting burned. 


Learn more and check out our Seasonal Hazards Report to beat the heat and protect against summer’s greatest threats.

Tags:  Power LossBackup Power

Posted in: Trends

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