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Blackout: Power Outages Soared To New Record In 2013

Power outages increased by 15 percent in 2013Americans experienced a record 3,236 power outages that cost the nation an estimated $150 billion in damages and lost income last year, according to a new report.

The number of blackouts reported was up 15 percent from the previous year and has increased significantly since the company that compiles the data started cataloging power outages in 2008. It was the most power outages in the six-year history of the report.

Around 2,169 power outages were reported in 2008 compared to the 3,236 blackouts reported last year. If that wasn’t bad enough, numbers could be low, because it was based only on news stories, websites and even anecdotes related by the public. There may have been several hundred power outages missed in 2013.

The Blackout Tracker report listed the year’s most significant power outages, such as 500,000 in Michigan losing power the weekend before Christmas because of an ice storm, and 650,000 homes and businesses in the Northeast losing electricity Feb. 8, 2013, because of a powerful snow storm. In some examples, it took a full week or more to restore power.

The Crazy Ways the Grid Is Vulnerable

The Blackout Tracker also exposed how vulnerable the power grid [1] is to mishaps, accidents and sabotage [2]. Some examples of the grid’s vulnerability include:

The High Cost of Downtime

What is truly disturbing is the high cost of electric downtime to American businesses of all shapes and sizes. The costs were so high that report labeled them “an astonishing price tag.”

Harness the power of the sun when the power goes out… [3]

“In an age where it is unimaginable for businesses to continuing functioning in the absence of electrical power, even a brief power outage can cause significant losses of revenue, productivity and product,” the report noted. “While the degree of impact cause varies by industry, unappealing consequences range from disruptive to literally life-threatening.”

The Black Out Tracker included a list of tangible and intangible costs from power outages every business owner should consider. These include:

Here are a few other facts about blackouts and power outages that every American home and business owner should be aware of:

The report also had some very good advice for business owners:

“No matter how you look at it, the benefits of investing in power backup solutions to protect critical systems far outweigh the astonishing price tag related to downtime.”

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