Several of our friends and customers in the satellite world have experienced close calls lately.
Late last year one of our customers on the west coast found themselves and their facilities along the track of the Ventura fires. In Mississippi, another network has TWICE spotted tornadoes in the horizon from their studio location. We also have had clients who recently dealt with the destructive (and costly) aftermath of some pretty devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Florida. Hello, Irma and Michael!
High winds, excessive rains, flooding, or fire, it’s inevitable. Whatever form a natural disaster may take, one way or another there will be times when we all must deal with at least one of these issues. However, there ARE steps you can take to prepare your network, and even mitigate the effects (and potential downtime) of a force majeure. Here are some ideas:
Visually inspect your antenna, and look for potential points of failure. THINK. What type of issues could be imposed upon the system should a natural disaster occur? Is your dish locked down tight? Are your connections tightly wrapped with waterproof tape?
Lightning can wreak havoc on your network. Are your ground connections clean and tight?
What about the LNB? Is it secure? Even more important – do you have a spare?
- Check the antenna’s foundation. Don’t overlook this step. After heavy rains, we have seen foundations shift, leaving a network with a spotty signal at best. Do what you need to do now to shore up your foundation.
- Mitigate the threat of tree limbs and flying debris. Very few networks can go through a Cat 5 hurricane unscathed, but it doesn’t take winds of 160 miles per hour or more to take out an antenna. I have witnessed dishes that were crushed after being hit by a tin panel off a nearby transmitter building…antennas that, likely, would have otherwise been fine. It’s worth a couple of conversations with a structural engineer (and an arborist if you have trees nearby) if you can minimize your frustrations (and downtime after a catastrophe).
- Mark your dishes. Literally. Take a black permanent marker and place a mark on the cap and the pole where the azimuth and elevation mount meet. After heavy rains and high winds, this little trick can save you a lot of time and aggravation and aid in your quick network recovery after a storm.
- Consider an external backup. Think through your relationships with similar networks. Could you work out a mutually beneficial backup plan? Or, do you need to reach out to a network operator?
Which leads me back to us here at LinkUp. Give us a call – we can help you walk through potential scenarios…help you see obstacles BEFORE disaster strikes, and put our experience to work for you and your system. Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us at (703) 378-5090.