Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Likely To Impact Even More Sites And Services

As the east coast prepares for the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, one of its largest hurricanes in recent history, services have been shutting things down left and right: flights have been canceled and airports closed, Google cancelled this morning's Nexus events, most universities have canceled classes, public transportation has been shut down, and plenty of offices have been closed in an attempt at keeping the public safe.

As this massive storm moves in land it will likely impact more offices, financial services and could even negatively impact some of your favorite sites and online services. Many sites and services have offices located on the east coast that could be hit with flooding, power outages and network disruptions. So users all across the US should be aware of the potential for impact.

Despite the fact that landfall wasn't expected until early this evening along southern New Jersey's coast by early this afternoon some 700,000 customers across the Northeast were already reportedly without power. That number is likely to increase exponentially as high winds and storm surge batter the area.

New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. have already had states of emergency declared and the worst of the storm is still to come. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were both closed on Monday because of Sandy, the exchanges' first weather-related shutdown in 27 years. Both exchanges said they would remain closed on Tuesday as well, pending confirmation.

ISP providers, cable networks and even cellphone service providers or expected to take a major hit. Verizon wireless is telling customers not to depend solely on their cell services at they are expecting widespread outages. The phones themselves, of course, have batteries which during a prolonged power outage might not be chargeable. And the cell towers that relay your calls and other messages are often equipped with backup batteries and some have generators.

Verizon says all its sites have at least eight hours of backup power. But tower batteries run down, and refueling generators with diesel can be difficult if roads are flooded. If hurricane recovery drags on for days, cell service may go out due to a lack of "tower power." This is what took out the cellphone network in southern Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, complicating rescue and recovery efforts.

Those impacted by Hurricane Sandy should be prepared to be in the dark without many of their major conveniences and services for at least a few days. The government has setup a website with some basic things to help anyone with tech preparedness during an emergency. Most of these are kind of common sense things but things most of us often overlook.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderate for content, please be patient as your comment will appear as soon as it has been reviewed.

Thank you