"crash plan online data storage"With National Preparedness Month just around the corner, everyone can take preventative measures now to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools and communities.

CrashPlan.com has compiled a list of tips for keeping your data and devices safe before the storm hits.

Protect Your Electronics

Power spikes are instantaneous, dramatic increases in electrical voltage that occur when power is restored after a blackout or a lightning strike. They can damage or completely destroy electronic components.

Most surge protector strips are adequate to absorb power spikes and surges. But, they don’t protect your computer from abruptly shutting down, which can corrupt your data and potentially cause a complete loss of data if you hadn’t saved the file you were working on at that moment.

Your best option is to invest in an uninterruptible power supply (commonly referred to as a UPS). They are capable of handling power spikes and surges and contain a built-in battery that supplies a limited amount of power allowing you to gracefully shut down your computer system.

Unplug Critical Electronics

If you don’t own a surge protector or UPS, it’s a good idea to unplug your computer, printers and other electronic devices from their wall sockets before a storm arrives. This will ensure that all of your electronics are safe from being damaged should lighting strike a power line that is connected to your home.

Additional Power for Computing

When the electricity goes out, you’ll want to have a secondary source of power to charge and operate cellphones, laptops and other electronics. By purchasing a pay-as-you-go cellphone as a backup, laptop batteries and a car charger you can continue working even when you have no power.

Seal Your Gadgets

It’s important to keep emergency electronics such as a battery-operated radio and flashlights, sealed in a zip lock bag and stored in a safe dry space. This will help ensure that your emergency essentials will be working and at your disposal if you were to experience a flood or any water damage to your home.

Keep Your Cell

Use your cellphone to store emergency contact numbers and family contacts. If your cellphone has a camera you can also use it to take before and after pictures for insurance purposes.

Always Backup

Sometimes it is inevitable that computer hardware will be damaged or lost in a disaster scenario. Always back up your important data and back up often! This will prevent data loss even if the device itself is destroyed.

Consider using an online backup service in addition to your regular backup regimen. Businesses and individuals in disaster-prone locales can benefit from online backup and cloud-based services because data is stored on remote computer servers that typically are located in different geographic locations that are “out of harm’s way”.

These tips are compliments of Crash Plan – the best FREE way to backup personal data.