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updated 8/25/2011 7:49:16 PM ET 2011-08-25T23:49:16

As Hurricane Irene roars toward the East Coast, power outages will be inevitable. Damage to your valuable electronics can occur when the power comes back on. The sudden surge of electricity could destroy the inner mechanisms of computers and other electronic equipment.

When the power goes down, unplug your computer, other electronic devices and appliances. Leave one light on and plugged in so that you’ll know when the power comes back on.

Take these additional precautions:

Backup your files to an external drive or to a cloud service.

Install a surge protector on your computer, your HDTV and any other electronic devices that are plugged into outlets. Don’t confuse a power strip with a surge protector. While the former is for convenience, the latter provides a barrier to reduce a sudden surge of electricity.

Consider an uninterruptible power supply, also known as a UPS. It looks like a big surge protector, but includes a battery back-up system that supplies power for 5 to 15 minutes to give you time to shutdown your equipment safely. A UPS may have as many as 10 plugs with surge protection, but only about 5 will be supplied with emergency power. Make sure your computer is plugged into one of the powered plugs.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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