For those of you that do not know on Friday, May 8th our entire region was plaster with a massive storm that can best be described as an inland hurricane. The devastation was massive and on a large scale. Until now I had always felt sorry for a hurricane but now for the first time I understand.
To date we still do not have power at my home though the office is back on line. I have been on the radio a few times during this event to give tips on protecting you computer system and I thought I would pass them along here.
If your power is currently out leave the computer unplugged. Do NOT just have the power strip turned off you MUST unplug to ensure proper protection of the system. Even once the power comes on do not rush to get on your computer. The line damage done in the area is extensive and it will be a while before the power in the region is stable. With this in mind make sure the power has been up AT LEAST a full hour without any interruption before hooking back up computers.
If you have more than once computer in the home I would only hook up one PC at first, the one you can most afford to lose. Let it run for an hour or so to ensure that the power is stable. The reason for choosing the older computer should be obvious, we do not want to risk our main machine.
If you hook up your PC and are greeted with the blue screen of death DO NOT reboot. Turn off the computer, unplug the system and call a tech. This storm cause some violent power surges and the power coming on will have issues for at least a few more days. This means if your computer is acting up there is a good chance it was damaged. With this in mind by turning off and getting a tech to it quickly there is a better chance we can get your data recovered intact.
The key in all of this is patience. I sure many out there are like me, missing our internet and wanting power back as quickly as possible. It is easy to see the power come on and rush to get back onto our PC. However with a little patience you can ensure that PC survives the storm and will give you a lot more computing enjoyment in the future.
On a side note I wish to post here a HUGE thank you to the brave men and women that have come down to work with Ameren at restoring power to the region. It is amazing watching some of these people as the climb trees and sometimes hang from a rope to get to the position they need to help restore power. We took often associate Ameren with our light bill and forget the terrific people working behind the scenes.