With a regional history of killer tornados - including a 1980 spring evening when seven twisters touched ground in nearby Grand Island - it's no surprise that the first floor of the First National Bank of Omaha's three-level operations plant is constructed 15 feet below grade-level. The nine-year-old facility is also cocooned by two external concrete walls that can withstand winds up to 260 MPH.
But even if a bank's walls withstand a storm, the institution can't operate without power, and so First National Bank took its disaster preparedness to the next step. Since the first day its present data center opened in 1999, FNBO's back-office has been 100-percent, operationally powered by in-house, hydrogen-based fuel cell technology. "We built the building to be self-contained," says First National CIO and SVP Ken Kucera. "If the whole city of Omaha loses public power, we don't lose it."