06/14/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2022 10:10
Hurricane season is upon us, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an unusually busy one in 2022.
Between June 1 and Nov. 30, NOAA expects an "above-average" season due to higher Atlantic temperatures and the ongoing La Nina. It forecasts 14 to 21 named storms, including three to six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher).
For the people of the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast, hurricane season is a time of preparation - and a bit of paranoia. In 2021, the United States weathered its third-most active year with 21 named storms and seven hurricanes, including the devastating Ida. Every year around this time, coastal residents brace themselves while hoping to dodge the wrath of these powerful storms.
Dallas-based CyrusOne is no stranger to the impact, which is why, among other reasons, resiliency - in our workforce, community networks and ecological networks - is a focus all we do. Colocation data centers promise uptime to customers through redundant systems, comprehensive maintenance and business continuity planning. While in-house data center operators might strategically allow some of their data halls to go offline during outages, that is not an option for us. Whether it's a power outage, snowstorm, tornado, flood or hurricane, our data centers are built to withstand and stay fully connected. We are prepared.
In our home state of Texas, Harvey struck a once-in-a-century blow in 2017. The unprecedented destruction of Harvey was, and still is, a devastating tragedy for the Greater Houston community and Texas. And in Houston, we are responsible for building out operations in four data centers for a customer.
Our team on the front line had prepared for this doomsday scenario their entire careers. And when we first heard word a once-in-a-century storm was headed our way, we rolled up our sleeves and prepared for battle.
We trained for it dozens of times, and our team knew the long days and round-the-clock hours ahead of us. Part of our promise to our customers is to always be at the ready if disaster strikes. With this promise in mind, we continually make significant investments in backup power systems across our entire network of data centers throughout the United States. Simply put, this is what they are built for.
We activated the CyrusOne emergency management and response plan a week before Harvey touched down, and the plan remained in effect for weeks afterwards. The team worked as a cohesive unit, with some members remaining on-site and unable to access their homes. Other members stayed around the clock to provide coverage for those teammates who had to remain in their homes because of the storm. We are grateful for our dedicated employees, many of whom were away from their families.
When the storm finally made landfall, we activated the next phase of our emergency response plan. During a few intense hours, our back-up generators turned on for auxiliary power. But we never went down - not for a second. And we kept our customers informed throughout the challenging days during and after Harvey.
Raptor Technologies Senior Vice President of Technology and Operations Nelson Lins said his company was impressed with CyrusOne's commitment to communication during the storm.
"Every couple of hours, we were getting email updates from them," he said. "They let us know they had teams of employees at the data center and having experienced Harvey ourselves we know what a sacrifice it was for them to be away from their families and at their data centers 24/7 for several days over the course of the storm. They kept us informed about every step of their preparations, let us know the resources they had in place, and communicated the utility loss and switch to generator power as soon as it happened."
Lins said CyrusOne's communication level instilled confidence and the frequency and detail were an unexpected, nice touch.
"It went a long way to allowing us to realize, 'hey, they've got this,' and move on to other things, like the safety of our employees and their families and staying in touch with our customers," he said. "CyrusOne stepped up when it really mattered, and we needed it. CyrusOne was proactive and stayed ahead of potential problems. After guiding us through Harvey we're confident that they could get us through nearly anything."
And when the flood waters finally receded and our friends and neighbors began to assess the damage, we contributed to relief efforts in a variety of ways, including offering below-cost infrastructure services to impacted businesses with no commitment to keep the service after the offer lapsed.
Today, we remain prepared to weather what Mother Nature brings this hurricane season. Our teams are trained and experienced, our infrastructure is resilient, and we are ready to ensure connectivity remains no matter the weather.