DC Group engineers braved Sandy’s devastation to restore backup power to Microsoft, the Federal Reserve, Suffolk County Water Authority and other vital facilities.
Hurricane Sandy knocked out power for millions of people for up to two weeks. But DC Group, a Northeast Minneapolis provider of uninterruptible power supply, got businesses and key facilities operational in a few hours.
“We had to get clients up and running very quickly,” said DC Group Field Engineer Rameshchandra Tiwari. “It was a top priority to work with facilities like the Water Authority so that clean water was available, and we were proud to be able to help.”
Microsoft, IBM, the FBI, and the U.S. Navy and others rely on DC Group to ensure that they never lose power for critical operations. After Sandy, many others also tapped DC Group for emergency assistance.
“The majority of uninterruptible power supply providers just shut down their call centers,” company founder and President Jon Frank said. “Most did not have the experience or capacity for this kind of disaster, or they were in the affected area. We were prepared to go in immediately and get to work.”
DC Group obtained emergency responder status and had permission to enter closed roads and disaster areas. “Most of the time I was the only one on the road,” Tiwari said. “Through our experience with similar disasters we knew we needed our infrastructure and parts ready, and our people in position.”
On the ground, workers had to improvise to complete their missions. “At one point a field engineer had to drive to Pennsylvania to pick up gas for another engineer so he could get to a customer,” said Cameron Schneider, DC Group’s field coordinator for the region. There were other challenges as well, “Many of our engineers were at home without power, but hopped in their trucks to get power online for clients,” Schneider said.
“Our people did a great job under tough circumstances,” said Jon Frank, “But this is what we do and we were ready. We’ll be ready for the next one, too.”
Don Springer, Facility Manager for Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City, agrees. “People don’t realize this but for many of us, power at work was the only power we had. So in addition to getting business back up it also gave us a sense of normalcy in a tough time,” Springer said.