Monsoon Lessons


We've had quite the monsoon this year, and it's still hanging on, so be forewarned, forearmed, and ready to recover should disaster strike.

The high winds and lightning strikes typical of mountain monsoons can damage power lines or poles and cause interruptions of power. Lightning can even directly strike a power substation or a transformer on a pole and cause power to fail nearby or miles away from the strike. Flash floods can damage equipment or cause facilities to shut down for safety reasons, and downed trees can take out utilities. In extreme situations, utility crews may be stretched so thin that responses to calls take hours to resolve. 

Although nature controls the narrative in these instances, you still have control to keep you and your information safe.

Your first concern is safety, so follow these guidelines:

  • Before the storm arrives, unplug sensitive electronic devices.
  • Once the storm does arrive, do not touch wiring during the thunderstorm. It's too late and too dangerous to unplug electronics once you hear thunder.
  • Stop playing video games and unplug everything. We know it's hard, but the storm will provide plenty of entertainment in the meantime.
  • If you must use a telephone, use a cell phone. Cordless phones do not work without electricity. Use corded phone only for emergencies but be aware that lightning traveling through telephone wires can and has killed people. Cell phones are absolutely safe in these circumstances..
  • If power fails, turn off electric appliances that were on before power was lost using their power switches, not their plugs. Leave one light on to let you know when power is restored

 Your second concern is protecting your data, and with a little preparation, this is easy and effective. But get in this habit before the next monsoon storm hits! 

  • Back up your documents and files because they can easily be lost or destroyed. At any time, your documents and files could get damaged by a virus, accidentally be deleted, become corrupted, or your hard drive might get fried by an electrical surge caused by monsoon lightning. 
  • We provide many options for File Sharing and Storage, so learn how you can protect your valuable data. 


We do not provide software for automatically backing up your files on your desktop or mobile computer. However, Google Drive is supported for use by NAU students and this suite of applications provides you with the ability to create text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more, all through your web browser and stored in the cloud. You can also back up your computer to a centralized home drive for file and document backup.

Faculty and Staff

If your department has computer support staff, check with them first as they may already have a back-up feature available for you to use.

If you are always on NAU's network, we recommend you store and work directly from your Home Drive or NAUShares  for all of your work documents and files. You should avoid saving directly to your computer because we don't run any backup software on your NAU work computer.

If you can connect to NAU's network using Virtual Private Network: We recommend you copy your work documents and files to your Home Drive or NAUShares any time you make a change to a document or file.

If you choose not to use your Home Drive or NAUShares, you are responsible for backing up your work documents and files.

If you cannot connect to NAU's network, you are responsible for backing up your work documents and files.

What are the benefits of using my Home Drive or NAUShares for back up work documents or files? Both the Home Drive and NAUShares are automatically backed up on a daily basis and backups are held for over a month.

Although we provide many options for File Sharing and Storage only the Home Drive and NAUShares will allow you to recover your documents and files without assistance from ITS.

Vist the Home Drives and NAUShares pages for more information about the capabilities of these drives.

Fall 2013
9/17/2013 9:52:17 AM