It happened this morning with a boom, followed by beeps from the backup power unit in my office. I didn’t ask to go off the grid it just happened unexpectedly. At the moment the power went off I was working and was little startled from the boom which I would later would find out was about 50 feet away from my window. Once I realized what happened, the first thing I did was shut down all of the electronic equipment which was still operational due to the power backup system. It is nothing huge, but gives me enough time to safely shutdown items and help prevent any damage with my systems and files in instances like this occur.
You are probably wondering why a backup power system is needed especially with most people using laptops as their primary computer these days. The reason I have one is to allow me to control the shutdown of the external items connected to my laptop which are critical to my business. If you look around your office you will find many items which operate on electricity and wouldn’t be critical, but there are a few were an unexpected shutdown could result in some damage especially with storage devices. I ave my external drives connected to the backup power as well as my external monitor to ensure I still have the displays I normally would use to safely shutdown applications I am working in at the time and then power down in a normal state. If you are using a dual monitor system it just makes it easier to see the whole application during shutdown. In most instance backup power is used just for this and not to continue running your business during a brief power outage.
The current system on the market which is close to what I am using is a APC Back-UPS ES allowing as I mentioned above to shutdown the items I am running at the time of power loss. Based on the items plugged into my unit I could last probably 5 minutes, but it is something I have not gauged at this time. If you feel you need more than this, you could upscale from this level giving you some additional work time during a power loss. I just figure that is too dicey when the goal is to protect your work and not try to extend the amount of time you are able to work.
I have been using APC products in my home for about five years, and when I was working at a mail order company in Tucson managing their information technology during college we also used APC products. Based on this experience this is why I mention APC in this post, however there are other companies out there providing solutions for the home.
In case you were wondering, it took Xcel Energy two hours to come out and restore power which included trimming the branches away from the power lines (the cause of the outage). Now I get to find all of the clocks in my house and reset them, which will be good practice for daylight savings time in early November.