How many people are up to date on the intense flooding in Thailand? If you aren't, you probably soon willbe, especially if you have any connection to products requiring a hard drive.

It’s also on the radar of attendees fromthe United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America who were present at the 2011First Alert Professional Dealer Convention 2011 held in Scottsdale, Ariz., from Nov. 10-12.

Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Systems Group, spoke about the matter during the general session on Friday.

Since July, the floods have claimed hundreds of lives and have reached Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok. In total about 14.8 million acres (six million hectares) of land have been flooded around the country, said a chief government spokesman. That includes the land around hard drive manufacturers — shutting down the plants and grinding production to a halt.

Estimates have theThailand floods causing a 28 percent quarter-on-quarter drop in hard disk drive (HDD) production in the fourth quarter, according to research firm IHS iSuppli — and that’s if it stops raining and starts to dry out. Right now, the flood waters are expected to take up to six weeks to recede, and the damage to roads and logistical supply lines could take even longer to address.

Harkins said the disaster there would lead to a shortage and increased prices. But he emphasized that Honeywell continues to monitor the situation and look for other solutions and/or hard drives.

“I have some important news that I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about it with a group this large,” Harkins said. “You’ll continue to find out more about it over the next weeks and months. Almost everybody in this room could be effected as almost all hard drives come out of Thailand. There is already a major disruption in supply and there is an expected price increase. Our suppliers will not guarantee our prices beyond one day. I’m not worried about cost, I’m worried about availability. Itcould, not definitely yet, but it could be hard to find DVRs in the marketplace. Prices are going up — there is no escaping it — while availability is probably going down.  It could be a very difficult first few months in the upcoming year in the DVR market.”

Harkins made a few suggestions of Honeywell products that can help dealers in a variety of ways while the DVR supply chain returns to normal.

Honeywell’s MAXPRO® XE (Xpress Edition) is a software-only version releasing by year end. If customers have servers and hard drive already, they can just load it on their systems.

Honeywell’s MAXPRO® NVR XE does not use a hard drive from Thailand,so the company has supplies (although prices could go up).

Honeywell’s MAXPRO® Web — predicted to be released next month — uses a solid-state hard drive, so “in a situation where you have to get a DVR installed, it is a hybrid box, so you could install and provide short-term storage until hard drives become plentiful again,” Harkins suggested.

Total Connect™ Remote Services is available with storage via the Total Connect™ network.

“We have solutions, and we are continuously working on solutions for you,” Harkins emphasized.