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Power Outage and the Impact of Planning


By Dan Hounsell Emergency Preparedness
emergency light working in power outage

Emergency preparedness in institutional and commercial facilities requires that facility managers and others involved in the process consider all possible events and prepare for each of them. Effective planning can help ensure that the impact of an emergency on facility operations and occupants is minimal.

In the case of one major U.S. airport, preparation and planning might have played a role in holding the impact of a recent emergency to a minimum.

A power outage plunged Washington’s Reagan National Airport into darkness for about an hour recently. The incident did not make a major impact on flights, but it did lead to some dramatic scenes at the close-to-downtown Washington-area airport, according to USA Today. Passengers at the airport took to social media with pictures of dark terminal areas.

Andrew Trull, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority that operates that airport, says that “a majority of the flights (had) already landed or departed" by the time the power went out a little before 10 p.m. local time.

Despite the electricity problems – an issue with a power feed from Dominion Virginia Power was cited – the situation had a minimal impact on flight operations at the airport. The biggest issue for passengers appeared to be collecting luggage, with the outage affecting both the baggage carousels and the lights surrounding them.

This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell — dan.hounsell@tradepressmedia.com — editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, and chief editor of Facilitiesnet.com.

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