How to protect your electronic equipment from Hurricane Sandy

How to protect your electronic equipment from Hurricane Sandy

Learn how protect your electronic equipment from Hurricane Sandy

Image of Hurricane Sandy

From the National Hurricane Center in Miami

Hurricane Sandy is rapidly approaching, and this thing is set to make a historical impact on our area. Governor Tom Corbett has already announced that we are in a state of emergency, and many parts of New York and New Jersey are shutting down. The immediate future is looking pretty scary, but for the moment, the weather is calm. This is the time to get things done and learn how to protect your electronic equipment, before it’s too late.

By all means, your family’s safety should be first and foremost on your mind. It would be a shame if your computer got fried and wouldn’t turn on anymore, but that’s nothing compared to the immeasurable loss of losing a loved one. Therefore, water, food, medicine and an evacuation plan are things you need to be working on immediately. However, if you’ve taken care of all that, here are some last minute things you need to do to ensure the safety of your computers and electronic equipment.

Backup Your Data

First of all, make sure you have your data backed up to an external hard drive or online data storage solution. This is something you should be doing regardless of an impending storm. Family photos, documents, school or work projects, emails and other important information that you don’t want to lose should be taken care of immediately. But don’t just assume that the data is safe simply because it’s on an external disc, make sure the disc is kept somewhere safe, away from flood waters, extreme temperatures and sources of physical harm.

Check Batteries for Power, Fuel-Up the Generator

If you have vital equipment that needs to be powered at all times, now is a good time to make sure the battery backup system/generator is working and can maintain power for an extended period of time. If the power grid goes down, there’s a possibility that it could be out for a few days. Charge up cell phones, flashlights, portable radios and anything else you might need that has a battery. Make sure the generator has fuel. Also, NEVER run a gas or diesel powered generator inside the house. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide gas can quickly build up and kill you. Likewise, a malfunctioning furnace or blocked-up chimney (for those of you building a fire in the fireplace to keep warm in the event of power loss) can quickly contribute to dangerous carbon monoxide levels. Learn and look for the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and keep the house well ventilated.

Flood Protection

On the other side of the spectrum, a power surge or lightning strike can damage or destroy equipment. You should keep whatever you don’t need unplugged and safely put away — preferably in a high area of the house, just in case of flooding.

Speaking of floods, if you live in an area prone to flooding, do a quick sweep of the basement/lower levels of the house to make sure that anything important is moved high up, out of the reach of flood waters. Sealing them in plastic would add extra insurance from water damage.

Document Everything

Sometimes, despite all precautions, accidents still happen. For that reason (and, more importantly, for the reasons we can’t think of) everyone should have some kind of insurance. It might be too late to get a policy, but if you already have one, now is the best time to take pictures and document everything of value in your home. Electronics, vehicles, external views of your house… if you own it, make a record of it. It’ll help out immensely if the worst happens and you need to make a claim.

We’re taking this storm seriously, and the weather authorities have repeated again and again that tomorrow will be too late. Of course, make sure you have enough food and water to get by, and take care of your family and pets first. However, once all that’s finished, take care of your valuable electronic equipment. For things that can wait until the last minute, that moment is fast approaching. Be safe!