If there is anything for education technology leaders to study following back-to-school season, it’s the impact Mother Nature can have on curriculum. In Raleigh, extreme heat at the start of the school year caused HVAC system issues that forced at least four area schools to send students home. Schools across the state of North Carolina, among others on the East Coast, also faced recent closings due to Hurricane Idalia.
While temperatures might be just settling down for fall, hurricane season is still heating up. The Atlantic hurricane season hits its peak in the transition from summer to fall – with heightened activity typically occurring through mid-October. Even as schools begin to feel comfortable in their routine, it’s important to ensure disaster preparedness strategies are set up for lasting success.
The Modern-Day Classroom
The digital transition has had a major impact on the education landscape, which must be factored in as schools weigh their approach to disaster avoidance. Technology is the foundation for both physical and digital learning environments – not to mention a core focus area for students exploring new cutting-edge tools and applications in the classroom. As a result, school IT teams face considerable pressure to properly support these systems and ensure that they remain up and running.
An integrated backup power strategy can help schools protect IT systems in the face of severe weather and other unforeseen events. A “set it and forget it” approach may be especially beneficial for IT staff responsible for managing IT systems across an entire district – leveraging the most advanced, connected solutions to monitor and maintain power infrastructure.
- Build the fundamentals: An uninterruptible power system (UPS) is a key ingredient for any disaster preparedness strategy – providing the bridge to generator power in the event of an outage. To get more life out of these solutions, school IT teams can utilize lithium-ion batteries which have now become more available and cost-effective for UPSs. In addition to offering longer battery life and smaller footprints, lithium-ion based UPSs can also be integrated with disaster avoidance software and network cards for enhanced connectivity and cybersecurity.
- Check your homework: In school environments where IT staff are often spread thin, distributed IT performance management software (DITPM) can help to maintain control over power systems. Aligning these solutions with power devices via integrated network cards, school IT teams can take a proactive approach to remote management – making timely firmware updates along the way to stay ahead on the cybersecurity curve. The software can also provide the ability to gracefully shut down or re-boot a ‘hung’ server or other equipment from a remote location in the instance of a power event.
- Plan ahead: By leveraging advanced predictive analytics services in conjunction with DITPM software, IT teams can also monitor and analyze power trends over time. This gives school IT teams the ability to make smarter decisions about their equipment and proactively fix or replace devices rather than retroactively responding after an event causes downtime.
Paired with quality backup power devices, having reliable hardware components – such as surge protectors and managed power strips – is important to ensuring a well-rounded disaster avoidance strategy. Combining these tools with a wall mount rack enclosure can save valuable floor space while simplifying and streamlining future hardware upgrades.
Make the Grade
Recent damage caused by Hurricane Idalia and Hurricane Ophelia provide continuing reminders that schools are not out of the woods in terms of dangerous weather. Even when hurricane season passes, threats from cold weather and snowstorms will emerge across many regions in the U.S. The good news is that school IT teams can implement common sense measures to be prepared. With an integrated backup power strategy that combines the latest hardware and software advancements, schools can be confident that they’re ready for any test that comes.