Using the IoT in Energy Management to Mitigate Losses in Times of Extreme Weather Events

March 12, 2018 Greg Fasullo

Subtitle devices connected to the IoT in energy management can help reduce losses associated with natural disasters and extreme weather events.

Facilities Managers do not want to think about how they will respond in the event of a disaster or weather-related emergency. However, avoiding the topic will not prevent an emergency from occurring, and as explained by ready.gov, businesses have a duty to plan for emergencies and extreme weather before it causes a disruption to operations or contributes to the loss of life and products. Fortunately, the Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to help mitigate these losses and applying the IoT in energy management further ensures business continuity in times of such events.

The IoT Is Critical to Managed Security Services

Maintaining site security is a major problem for businesses affected by extreme weather or emergency. If an evacuation is necessary, the brick-and-mortar location could become the site of vandalism, theft, and other serious problems. Fortunately, IoT-connected security systems can give Facilities Managers located in safe areas or away from the facility access to real-time information about the facility, reports Energy Manager Today, including unauthorized access or intrigue, damaged facilities and additional risks affecting the security of the site. For Facilities Managers with contracted managed security services, using IoT-enabled devices can also help prevent fire and lessen the effects of an emergency.

A Connected System Alerts Staff, Tenants, and Other Building Occupants of Emergencies Automatically

If an emergency or extreme weather event occurs, connected systems can automatically alerts staff, tenants or other occupants of the impending disaster. This is similar to the systems used by college campuses to alert students of potential dangers on campus. By automating the alert process, Facilities Managers can ensure the safety of all occupants and actively address problems as they arise. With systems connected to the IoT, Facility Managers may also shutdown non-essential systems to help reduce risk of fires or other damage resulting from extreme weather

Mobile Technologies Ensure Staff Know How to Respond in an Emergency

The automated alerts system is great, but it can also be used to ensure staff members know exactly how to respond in an emergency. While most businesses may conduct emergency preparedness training and drills for employees, the emotional impact of an extreme weather-related event or emergency can leave employees feeling helpless and unsure how to proceed. Mobile technologies can be used to explain to employees where to go, what they need to do and how they can best respond to such events, reducing disruption to the business.

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Using the IoT Can Streamline Recovery of Supply Chains

After a storm clears, the IoT can also be used to improve supply chains providing recovery materials and supplies, asserts Green Tech Media. For instance, the IoT can automatically notify hardware and building supply stores of needed items, create and complete an order for supplies, and notify building managers of when supplies will arrive, reducing disruptions and ensuring business continuity.

Connected Systems Can Help Mitigate Losses During Power Outages

A power outage is among the top problems Facilities Managers face when dealing with extreme weather. For facilities selling perishable products, having power can mean the difference between retaining inventory or suffering a complete loss of inventory. While backup generators can mitigate this risk, the IoT can go further by ensuring generator operability well before the storm hits. Facilities Managers can automatically test generators frequently, and test results can be sent back to Facilities Managers through the IoT, allowing failing backup generators to be maintained or replaced, ensuring uninterrupted power supply in the event of an emergency. The same remote-managed monitoring and testing of systems can be applied to any essential system, including fire and safety systems, explains Facility Executive, in the facility before an emergency occurs.

Retrofit Your Facility With IoT in Energy Management Systems Before Mother Nature Strikes Again

The devastation of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria continues to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, even up to four months after landfall. Mother Nature is unforgiving, but Facilities Managers can take advantage of the IoT in energy management to ensure business continuity in times of extreme weather and disaster. Find out what your organization needs to do to begin the retrofitting process by visiting ENTOUCH online today or by calling 1-800-820-3511.

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