Lightning Strikes

Filed under Rants

And let me tell you, in this day and age, lightning can just plain suck.

Garage Door opener, AC units, all my computers, UPS’s, TIVO, home audio, phone systems, NAS drives, cable box. You name it, it got smoked.

I’ve spent the last three weeks scrambling to get new machines setup, get backups restored (fortunately, I had recent ones), get repair techs out for the big stuff, and take care of the smaller stuff myself.

And I had a whole house surge suppressor, and well as UPS units on all my machines and some of my audio gear. Smoked them all as well.

So, any lessons learned? Oh yeah.

  1. Make SURE you know what’s covered by your UPS “connected equipment guarantee”. Keep all that paperwork filed somewhere for quick retrieval.
  2. Keep good records of purchases of anything you plug in. I keep mine in Quicken. Then keep backups of your Quicken data and the program disks so you can install to another machine and retrieve the data.
  3. You’ll typically have about 10 days to file a claim. So keeping recent backups of that data will help immensely with quickly pulling together all your records of what you had, when you bought it, and how much you paid.
  4. Check with your homeowner’s insurance. You likely have a 1% or 2% deductable. If your house is 250,000$, that’s a sizable chunk of change you’ll be out. And keep in mind, the insurance companies will depreciate the value of your equipment by how long you’ve owned it, so it might be even tougher to get up to that 1 or 2%.
  5. UPS’s can protect equipment but they won’t always work. Have backups. Make sure they’re restorable.
  6. You can almost be guaranteed that it’ll cost you more to replace all the equipment that you lost than it did to buy it in the first place. Why? Because if it’s computer stuff, you’re not going to go out and buy an exact replacement, you’ll buy something more modern, more harddrive space, bigger monitor, faster CPU, more memory, etc. Prices have come down since you bought, after all.

With the backups I had, it took a while, but I’m back online, and with almost my complete previous setup. Still lots of little stuff to take care of, but it’s getting there.

The good news is, we weren’t home, and there was no damage to the house itself, short of a few blown circuit breakers, and a blown GFCI.

In other words, lucky!

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