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Before the storm – protecting your electronic assets


Tomorrow a ‘Pineapple Express’ storm system will start blowing through town. The current forecast (as of 0730 Wednesday morning) is calling for winds of 40-50 mph, with gusts up to 60-80mph along the coast.  Extended forecast shows a second punch on Saturday.  The short story – yes, the power will go out.  High Wind Warning.

Sensitive electronics such as computers, servers, networking equipment and routers do not like fluctuations in power.  Surges and complete power drops can damage hardware. Brown outs can be just as devastating to these systems.  Critical systems should be plugged into a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply); this is similar to a power strip in how they help prevent surges, however they also provide clean power to systems by regulating the power with a large internal battery, preventing brown outs and blackouts from damaging your hardware.

But what if you don’t have a $100-$200+ UPS unit?  When you feel the time is right (before you see cows flying across the road) shut it down and unplug it.  And not just the computer system; your router, the expensive 70 inch TV, the Roku – anything that could be affected by damaging electrical currents.

When you start to see power being restored, give it a good 20-30 minutes to make sure it stays on before powering up your electronics.  This assists the power company in maintaining a steady flow to you and those around you.  Too much of a sudden pull in an area can start to cause fluctuations and / or brown outs.