No matter where you live, weather can be volatile and cause surges and power outages that can affect your communications. Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) are a standard component of your system but they must be properly cared for as well. There are a few simple things you can do to ensure you are not left in the dark (and without phone service) by erratic weather.
Alternate Access recommends that you test each UPS every few months, and replace them about every 4 years. Mark the date of purchase on each unit using a label or marker so the "replacement date" can be easily identified.
UPS units typically have two types of power ports; Battery Back-up and Power Surge. Be sure you are using the battery back-up ports for critical phone system equipment such as the Server, Station Board Power Supplies, Telephone Company Smart Jacks and DSU/CSU's and Monitor. Review the power consumption requirements of each item and ensure the UPS unit has sufficient capacity to keep your system up for a period of time longer than your anticipated outage.
Most UPS units also have a power chute option that installs software on the server that will periodically test the unit and report the amount of back-up capacity available. Not only will this ensure critical equipment stays powered, it will protect against power surges. Never overload a UPS unit by plugging all of your devices into a single unit. And lastly, always be sure to purchase a unit that will meet your power needs.