For my first post in the new Shameless Wolf blog, I was going to do a write-up on how this blog was going to be setup, but with the incoming hurricane to the area, I think some tips on preparing your computer for a hurricane would be more fitting.
It's looking more and more like Hurricane Irene is going to come right over this area. Though giving the amount of land the hurricane needs to travel through before it hits here, it probably won't be much more than a tropical storm. But it never hurts to be prepared, as there is still a possibility it could be as much as a category 2 hurricane by the time it reaches New England. I'm not going to get into general preparedness, there are plenty of sites that offer that on the web. But I'll focus on protecting your computers, an area of preparedness that is often ignored.
In the unlikely event you need to leave your home due to storm damage, make sure your data is backed up! Back up your data before the storm hits. The best way to do this is to buy an external hard drive and move your important data (photos, documents, videos, music, etc). Then store the drive in a safe place, not connected to anything. If you need to leave your home, you may not be able to bring your whole computer, but you can bring the drive. Even better, store the drive at a relatives house, or some place other than your own home.
Also be sure your computer is on a battery backup or disconnect it during the storm. Power surges and failures can cause significant damage to your computer. Nearby lightning strikes can also cause havoc on your system. A battery backup, otherwise known as an Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS, is a fairly inexpensive option that offers a great deal of protection to your computer.
These are the best things you can do to prepare your computer for this hurricane, and any other major storm. In fact, these are good policies to follow through out the year, as you never know when disaster could strike. Just look at the earthquake in Washington DC this week. Keep your data safe. This small amount of money now can save you thousands in data recovery charges later on.
As always, if you need help with data backups or setting up a UPS, you can call The Shameless Wolf at 781-368-3413 and I'll be glad to give you a hand. I can even come in to your home, and size up the right UPS for your needs.
By the way, for those of you with a radio scanner, look for me during the storm. You'll hear me on 145.470 MHZ, which is the Danvers Amateur Radio repeater. I'll be working on Skywarn under the call sign WO1VES. You'll hear me and other ham radio operators taking damage reports to be passed into services like the National Weather Service.
Good luck during the storm, and make sure all your belongings in your yard are secure.
-Owner/Operator/Tech of The Shameless Wolf