Genset Dealers Help Keep Lights on in Hurricane Isabel's Path

Communities in the path of a major hurricane have one advantage over those that face other types of natural disaster: time to prepare. Modern weather-modeling systems can alert area residents to impending severe weather. For those living along the Mid-Atlantic coast, as Hurricane Isabel approached this past September, such warnings provided time to prepare homes and businesses for brutal wind a...

03/01/2004


Communities in the path of a major hurricane have one advantage over those that face other types of natural disaster: time to prepare. Modern weather-modeling systems can alert area residents to impending severe weather. For those living along the Mid-Atlantic coast, as Hurricane Isabel approached this past September, such warnings provided time to prepare homes and businesses for brutal wind and rain and to consider power alternatives to vulnerable transmission and distribution systems.

One nationwide network of generator dealers took advantage of the advance warning to mobilize and assemble a substantial inventory of emergency power-supply equipment in the affected area. The task involved coordinating complicated pick-up and delivery schedules, as generators and parts arrived from other dealers on the East Coast and beyond. Such time-intensive planning meant customers who already understood their emergency power needs when storm warnings first began arriving had the easiest time getting equipment delivered and installed before the lights went out.

By the time the storm hit, some 325 generators from 30 kW to 2 MW had been installed, supplying emergency power throughout North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Customers who had planned ahead, by assessing emergency needs and establishing relationships with alternative power providers, were able to keep their lights on and doors open—even though their windows were boarded with plywood.





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