Lightning and the severe weather that accompanies a lightning strike have the potential to shut down your business. Computer hardware and software, machinery, insulation and circuit boards all are vulnerable to irreparable damage, costing your business thousands of dollars in lost equipment and productivity. The threat of fire is an even more serious concern for the well-being of your property and your employees.
Weather tracking tools can help your business avert a lightning disaster. Visible lightning represents only a small portion of the lightning actually present during a storm. In-cloud lightning is an early warning of severe weather. In-cloud flashes typically occur 5 to 30 minutes prior to dangerous cloud-to-ground strikes. A lightning detection network will identify in-cloud strikes and help you and your employees shut down sensitive electronic equipment and prepare your facility for a storm.
Lightning detections system can be hand-held, WI-FI enabled or hardwired. Hardwired systems are likely to more accurately pinpoint the location of real-time lightning strike than a hand-held device and to have better connectivity than WI-FI systems. Some detection systems provide alerts via strobes and sound when danger is as far as 10 miles away. Schools, community organizations and recreational businesses can benefit from these advanced warnings.
Installing a lightning detection system is the first step in keeping your employees and property safe. Knowing exactly what to do when the alarm sounds is equally important. A training program should be developed and periodically updated. The protocol should include instructions for powering down equipment and electronics, offsite locations for backup data and information about when to vacate an outside venue and where to safely seek cover. Depending on the type of business or organization, there could be many more storm-related activities to address.
Tornados and other severe thunderstorms can cause as much property damage as a hurricane. It is impossible to control the weather but it is easy, smart and makes good business sense to be prepared for almost any situation.