Virtual Mentor Tip: Protect Your Work from Power Outages

Hi everyone!

I’m Robin Dimick, one of your WSU Virtual Mentors. Like many of you, I was an online student while juggling life, work, and kids.

I remember one year we had particularly bad weather for my area and our electricity was out for days. After the first couple of days, I started to panic over some big assignments that were due and I had no way of accessing (since they were only on my computer).

Since that time, I have taken advantage of the free cloud storage available to students through Office 365 and One Drive. Now, even if the power is out at my house, I have access to my documents on my phone (granted, not ideal) or at a local library computer center.

Protect your work and your time (and reduce your stress level) with these other helpful tips:

If an outage is specific to your computer, such as a localized cable outage, you can try these resources for a back-up computer:

  • Community library
  • Wi-Fi hot spots (coffee shops or restaurants)
  • Community Center with public computers
  • Use your phone’s hot spot feature to connect to cell data

If an outage is due to power, like above, you can connect a laptop to data through your phone’s hot spot feature or, if a local library or community center has power, you can access your courses there.

Also, it’s a great idea to have a back-up power bank that is always fully charged in order to keep that cell phone or laptop charged during an outage.

Backing up your work in multiple places can be a real lifesaver too. You never know when your computer might crash or when the power might go out. Because these problems are so unpredictable, it is best to save your work in multiple areas. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Flash drive
  • External hard drive with scheduled back ups
  • Cloud storage options like One Drive or Google Drive

While we all hope that we don’t have computer issues and that the power stays on all year, it’s best to be prepared for the worst so that you can maintain your sanity and stay on track in the event adversity strikes.

For other great tips, tools, and ways to connect, be sure to check out the Virtual Mentor Forum if your course space has one.

Here’s to staying warm and powered up this winter season!


Robin ~ your WSU virtual mentor