Don’t Be Thunderstruck During a Power Outage

As a person who spends eight hours a day in front of a computer, I can’t afford file damage or downtime owing to power outages. I’ll bet most of you can’t, either, especially the freelancers who don’t keep a regular 9-to-5 schedule and often work late into the night. With all the crazy, apocalyptic weather going on all over the country, never mind the world, it’s wise to take a look at your computer setup now rather than regret not being prepared during the next storm.

Don’t think that just because you use a surge protector that you’re in the clear. A surge protector is usually not enough to protect your files from all different types of power spikes, surges, brownouts and blackouts!

The No. 1 tip is to use an uninterruptible power supply, aka a UPS, which “isolates the computer from an outage,” according to Madison Gas and Electric. “When the UPS senses a change in voltage or a power outage, it switches to battery backup. The batteries provide time to save information and shut down.”

eHow goes a step further and advises you to get a UPS with an automated voltage regulation (AVR) built in, which protects against power spikes and shortages. Be careful with how much you plug into the UPS – you don’t want to overload it.

On a regular basis, don’t fail to back up your files and other important information. This is a catastrophe that is wholly preventable, and too often people don’t think about it until it’s too late.

Do you have any other suggestions for what to do when the lights go out?