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Winter 2003

Backup Power Systems Pay Off

If there was any benefit from the Northeast blackout and other similar disasters, it's that more organizations are installing backup power or expanding their existing systems. Backup generators are why New York City's emergency "911" number and many financial systems functioned during the great August 14th blackout. However, most ATMs, those not operated with backup power, were out of commission, along with a host of other major operations, such as hotels, office buildings, retail shops and gas stations, not to mention apartments and individual homes.

Backup generator Backup generators such as this one were much in demand on August 14, 2003.

Briggs & Stratton, the nation's largest manufacturer of small backup units, is experiencing a "very substantial increase" in sales to homeowners since the blackout, says Scott Alderton, Home Power Products marketing manager for the Milwaukee-based company. However, Greg Giese, president, Global Energy, Madison, Wisconsin, reports many inquiries from owners of small businesses but not many sales.

Some operators of skyscrapers are reportedly modifying their big backup systems because of what happened during the blackout. Tenants on upper levels, assuming the blackout would end soon, didn't evacuate and stayed put. More lights and some kitchen facilities will now receive backup power.

Briggs & Stratton: 866-436-7387
Global Energy: 608-238-6001

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