Which East Coast Data Center will run out of diesel fuel first?

The East Coast Data Centers are ready for Hurricane Sandy. 

With Sandy on horizon, East Coast data centers on high alert

Providers test generators, staff up facilities, ensure fuel deliveries

29 October 2012 by Yevgeniy Sverdlik - DatacenterDynamics

With Sandy on horizon, East Coast data centers on high alert
Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy by the US NOAA

Data center operators on the US East Coast are bracing for Hurricane Sandy’s landfall, expected by meteorologists on Monday evening.

Providers with substantial data center presence in the region, including Equinix, Savvis, Telx and Sungard Availability Services, have taken the basic steps to make sure their facilities are prepared to keep operational through prolonged power outages.

The basic steps all data center providers that have responded to our inquiries have taken are testing back-up generators, making sure onsite fuel-storage tanks are full, getting in touch with fuel vendors to ensure in-time deliveries in case fuel stored at the data center sites runs out.

The President has declared Emergency situations in 9 states.

The President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all counties in the State of New Jersey.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding. 

For those who have run data centers through Federal Emergency conditions they know that a contract with a fuel vendor is not worth much when the Federal gov't has established control of critical resources to address the emergency.

Elizabeth Turner has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations in the affected area. 

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Depending on how bad the power outages are, how refineries are impacted, diesel fuel could be extremely scarce.   And, a data center could run out of fuel even if it has multiple contracts with fuel vendors.

There is a way to get fuel during a FEMA managed event as a smart data center guy asked this question over a year ago, and we talked about how to solve this problem.  I found a guy who has been in the fuel business for years supplying airlines and remote power plants with petroleum fuel, and he has been thinking for who you could make sure you get fuel.  

BTW, one of the easier ways to get fuel during a disaster is to have your facility be defined as critical infrastructure by gov't agencies.  But, that also brings a huge amount of oversight and regulation.