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Early heat wave, power outages kick off summer

As record-breaking temperatures sweep the country, many states are feeling the effects, with some businesses and organizations having to adjust to the heat wave and its aftermath.
As record-breaking temperatures sweep the country, many states are feeling the effects, with some businesses and organizations having to adjust to the heat wave and its aftermath.

Record heat waves blanketed the U.S. last month, with 215 daily high temperature records being set as of last week, bringing the number of records set at that time to 1,015. While the National Climactic Data Center has only been tracking daily numbers for a little over a year, Derek Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the center, said it's still impressive given that records aren't usually set until July or August.

Organizations and individuals are seeing the effects from the heat. Churchill Downs, the famed racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, cancelled races at the end of last week because of the scorching temperatures. Track spokesman Darren Rodgers told the Huffington Post that it was the first time the venue has cancelled racing due to extreme heat.

Due to intense winds, areas in the Midwest and east coast suffered power outages, some of which are expected to last through the fourth of July and leave many Americans without the possibility of air conditioning. For example, West Virginia had 460,000 individuals without power on Sunday night, according to the Associated Press, while Maryland had 545,000 in the dark.

Dan Porter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the Wall Street Journal that as of June 24, 1,587 communities have reported record temperatures, including 105 degrees in Denver and 111 degrees in Dodge City, Kansas.

As previously reported on in this blog, changes in global temperatures have only added to the possibilities of increased wildfires for the next decade. Colorado has also experienced an extremely high amount of fires thus far this summer.

Businesses and organizations need to not only prepare for natural disasters, but ensure that a business continuity plan is in place, to help create plans of operation for what can follow a disaster – whether it's wildfires or power outages. Pairing with business continuity consultants can help create options that will allow for the most productivity to happen following multiple types of crises.