Storms are a fact of life in the American Midwest. We have many every summer. They often tend to turn into tornados. Even when they do not, they can cause considerable damage.

They tear trees right out of their roots, they tear electric and phone lines. And they love to fry computer motherboards.

In the six years I have lived here, I had three motherboards fried. Also a couple other boards and an external modem (that one happened right after I got it, and I only got it because my old internal modem did not survive a storm).

The only reason I did not lose more hardware is that now, whenever I hear a storm coming, I turn the computer off. And the modem. I never leave it on when I am not home or go to bed. One never knows when a storm comes in here.

We had a storm like that just yesterday: Winds blew at 70 miles per hour. Our local TV station was hit by lightning, so they were unable to inform us about the storm. But, of course, we all knew about it anyway.

I was on E2 when I heard the storm coming. Quickly, I turned off the computer and the modem. Good thing, too. There was a very strong hit right in my neighborhood. I am quite sure if I did not turn the system off, I would not be writing this node now because I would not have a computer.

Be very careful if you live in the American Midwest, or if you are visiting here. Turn your system off at the first hint of a storm. Even if you have a surge protector! And remember, the surge can travel not just through electric lines but through phone lines as well. You may want to unplug the phone line from your modem, and, of course, unplug everything from electricity. Better safe than sorry.

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