Disaster Risks: Redrawing the Lines

Hurricane Sandy served as a stark reminder that we should always be prepared for the unexpected. Following this type of disaster, we are forced to reassess our understanding of how certain areas are affected by natural disasters. Red Cross, NOAA and NRC have developed a basic risk level for almost every part of the US. We commonly use the map below to illustrate how safe Austin, TX is for data center operations.

Austin Risk Assessment Map

Even though Austin is one of the safest cities in the US, we understand that events like Sandy can instantly change the map. With Texas 1, we made the additional investments to protect against the unlikely and unexpected:

  • Texas 1 is more than 100 miles outside of tornado alley and over 200 miles from the nearest coast, but we constructed it to withstand 160MPH winds.
  • It’s more than 500 feet above sea level, but we constructed a storm water detention pond to mitigate any flood risk.
  • There hasn’t been an earthquake within 50 miles of Austin if over 50 years, but we buried 20ft caissons into the bedrock and welded all the cross members, including the roof.
  • Even though Texas has its own independent power grid, we installed two separate power feeds from two separate substations, including an end-to-end underground power feed.

With mission-critical operations, our customers can’t afford to take anything for granted. When we built Texas 1, neither did we. Learn more about the Texas 1 data center.