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Preparing your Data Center for Thunderstorms

Thanks to the advancement in weather forecasting, we have the opportunity to know exactly when natural phenomena like thunderstorms are expected and prepare for them in advance.

While it is important to have a solid disaster recovery plan in place, here are a few precautions you can take whenever there is a storm warning to protect your data center.

Follow all safety and precautionary regulations

First of all, we would like to emphasize that it is imperative to have followed local area regulations to minimize/counter lightning strikes during the construction stage of the building. 

It is also advised that data centers follow all necessary measures to prevent damage from lightning strikes or limit their impact on power and communication systems. These measures are difficult to put into place overnight, and any other immediate precautions are only to be considered additional or supplementary to existing ones.

Some of these essential measures include:

  1. Using grounded lightning rods in a lightning protection system with grounded rods shunts the buildup of ions, stopping the buildup of charge that results from lightning

  2. Equipping surrounding outdoor telecommunication and control cables to block increased voltage from entering the data center through the power system

In addition to taking the essential precautions as given above, a few immediate measures can also be taken every time there is a storm warning. One of the important pointers among them includes isolating the data center from outside power systems completely and shifting to on-site power.

Anticipate limitations in accessibility

Storm or no storm, a data center must continue to function without glitches, with at least a handful of staff available on-site for duty. If you predict a lack in accessibility – flooded roads, closures due to fallen trees, and so on, keep a team stationed at the data center the previous night in preparation for an overtime shift. You can arrange accommodation for them either within or near the data center premises.

At the same time, it is also advised to consider the personal commitments and limitations of staff members who will need to be with their families in case of an extreme emergency and do not have other support systems.

Prepare for worst-case scenarios

Although the intensity and impact of natural phenomena like storms do vary from place to place, with some being safer than other (click here to see why a data center’s location is important), it is also important to remember that we can never truly predict their outcomes at all times.

Natural calamities can sometimes cause way more damage (or collateral damage) than expected. That’s why it is important to prepare for varied scenarios in advance and keep your staff trained to face them. You can read more about protecting your data center from natural calamities here.

Need help in assessing your risks and taking the necessary protective measures? Get in touch with Hardy Racks for a consultation today!


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