Schaumburg, IL, United States
Schaumburg, IL, United States

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Schrijver C.J.,Lockheed Martin | Dobbins R.,Zurich Services Corporation | Murtagh W.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Petrinec S.M.,Lockheed Martin
Space Weather | Year: 2014

Geomagnetically induced currents are known to induce disturbances in the electric power grid. Here we perform a statistical analysis of 11,242 insurance claims from 2000 through 2010 for equipment losses and related business interruptions in North American commercial organizations that are associated with damage to, or malfunction of, electrical and electronic equipment. We find that claim rates are elevated on days with elevated geomagnetic activity by approximately 20% for the top 5% and by about 10% for the top third of most active days ranked by daily maximum variability of the geomagnetic field. When focusing on the claims explicitly attributed to electrical surges (amounting to more than half the total sample), we find that the dependence of claim rates on geomagnetic activity mirrors that of major disturbances in the U.S. high-voltage electric power grid. The claim statistics thus reveal that large-scale geomagnetic variability couples into the low-voltage power distribution network and that related power-quality variations can cause malfunctions and failures in electrical and electronic devices that, in turn, lead to an estimated 500 claims per average year within North America. We discuss the possible magnitude of the full economic impact associated with quality variations in electrical power associated with space weather. ©2014. The Authors.

McCon P.E.,Zurich Services Corporation
Iron and Steel Technology | Year: 2012

The article focuses on procedures and practices to promote a safe working environment for everyone. Businesses with a history of flooding need to review their flood emergency action plans regularly to verify they are ready for immediate use. Companies need to determine the possible level flood waters may reach and permanently relocate susceptible electric controls so they are above expected flood levels. There is a need to develop written procedures for safe shutdown of operations while planning for communications at the same time. Some key items may need to be accessed during flooding but may be submerged and difficult to locate. There is a need to clear flood-exposed parking lots and other outside areas of vehicles, trailers, storage, and remove portable equipment from flood-prone areas.

Mauerman R.,Zurich Services Corporation
Iron and Steel Technology | Year: 2013

Confusion, disorganization, hazards and danger often characterize the hours and days following a major disaster or significant business interruption. The impact of such an event can range from a catastrophic loss to the loss of operational efficiency, as the resources once available at a touch of a button are gone or disrupted. Business contingency planning is a major undertaking. To avoid becoming discouraged or overwhelmed, recruit a planning team or task force and divide the work into reasonable tasks, using timelines to track progress. The size of the planning team will depend on the complexity of the operation and the availability of resources, but at a minimum it should include the executive sponsor and at least one individual from each department within the company. The team should identify and agree on the scope of the contingency plan, estimate the required resources, identify the format for the plan and set a completion date. To assist with this process, start by identifying at least two disaster scenarios and list assumptions for each.

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