Are your Computer Systems Prepared for a Storm?

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Here’s what to do now

Now is the time to prepare your computer systems for a storm or hurricane. After you’ve taken steps to protect life-and-limb, secure and protect your computer equipment, software programs and valuable data files. A little prevention can avoid untold hours of frustration drying out soaked equipment, attempting to replace missing software or reconstructing lost data files.

Preparing for an Impending Storm


Most damage to computer hardware and software is from rain and wind. Broken doors and windows allow wind, rain and debris through buildings.

·        Move computer equipment (i.e. monitors, CPUs, printers, keyboards) to protected locations and wrap them in plastic. Move equipment in the corner of a room, out of the path of possible wind drafts, or to a closet or small, windowless room.

·        Double wrap equipment in plastic garbage bags to reduce rain/water damage.

·        A collapsing roof can damage your equipment. Move your equipment under a sturdy desk or piece of furniture that could possibly withstand the effects of falling debris.

·        If equipment is located directly on the floor, consider the possibility of flooding. Place equipment on or in water resistant objects, such as garbage cans.

·        Unplug your computer equipment. As a major storm begins to pummel the area, the chances of severe power fluctuations are very high as electrical transmission lines and power plants are affected. These power fluctuations can have extremely serious consequences for any equipment left plugged in or turned on.

·        As a last resort before you evacuate: Grab your server hard drive(s) – only if practical. 


·        Rain and wind can completely destroy books and disks – collect your manuals and original software disks and keep them in a safe location.

·        Make – and verify – a full data backup. Store your backup in a secure location 

  • If you must evacuate, consider taking your server (or server hard drive) with you.

?After the Storm

·        Protect any valuable equipment or software from looters.

·        Do not plug in any equipment that may be water damaged.

·        Before powering up undamaged computers, be very careful of power spikes and surges that can take place during the cleanup process. Caution should also be used when running a computer on power supplied by a generator -- this "unclean" power source can be riddled with power spikes, voltage drops, and surges.


An ounce of prevention really pays off during a storm. A little foresight can make the difference between having usable equipment and a pile of water-soaked junk. Working computer equipment may be a real salvation in recording experiences, writing claim letters, and communicating with the outside world.

Hope for the best…and prepare for the worst.

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Posted 12:14 PM

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