Carolyn from Oklahoma writes:

I live in tornado alley here in Oklahoma. We have a storm shelter and because of the good weather coverage we usually have time to gather up a few things to take down in the shelter. I have a My Book (the only name I could find.)backup drive & have started wondering if it would be possible to grab that, too. Would it hurt anything if I unplugged it (whether the computer gets shuts off or not) & took it with me? If so, would it be safe to just plug it back in later?

mybook

As a fellow resident of the Midwest, I can sympathize. Many times, I’ve grabbed the lock box and a pet and headed to the basement as the sirens wailed. Except when I worked in TV news, then it was a signal to fire up the laptop and started updating the station’s website from home until it passed and then head into work.

Carolyn, situations like a tornado are one of the reasons you do a backup to an external drive of your computer. By all means take your external drive to the shelter with you along with your other important papers.

It won’t hurt the drive to be unplugged. I would suggest turning off your computer¬† if you have time, just in case there are power surges or lightning strikes associated with storm.¬† This is also why I suggest a cloud backup of important files or keeping a physical mirror of your drive in a separate location like a safe deposit box. Although, you and I both know that a tornado can hit a town and take out houses, banks and everything else. That’s why I like a cloud backup of some important files.

If a tornado hit your house when you were away, your computer and backup could be destroyed.

~ Cynthia