I have an APC UPS device, but my beloved desktop computer was still fried during super storm Sandy. I think the power supply blew up. Pretty sure the data on the hard drives is retrievable, it just hasn't gone very well so far. Never give up, never surrender.
@heartny Power supply is an easy fix. It looks complicated but it's not, get a new one and plug it in to all the drives and motherboard just like the old one. About $50 and 15 minutes and you're back in business.
Had a lightning strike nearby once. I lost a TiVo and a cable modem due to a surge that came in through the cable tv wire. The lightning suppressor in the house, just before the fuse box, got hit. The only electrical issues were the power sockets on that circuit went down.
Just in the last year, we lost two CD/mp3 players, two ceiling fans, and a fuse on the air handler. We've got APCs on all the critical stuff (other than appliances) and after nearly losing A/C in Florida, we got a whole-house surge protector installed at the panel.
My first PC I built was lost to a lightning strike... It was back in 1998 an internal modem (the damn phone line wasn't on a surge strip) Blew some of the ports on the motherboard... only 3 or so card slots were working at the time... But It still worked for a few years before everything bit the dust... In the mean time I had won a PC from my school, I was in High school at the time... and Won a P3 PC... They had a raffle to win a PC... I won. Total amount of tickets purchased. 1... I couldn't believe it. My first XP machine! ;)
A long, long Time ago, in a house a couple miles from here, our very first VCR was the victim of a lighting strike via our tv antenna. it would still play, but not record, and would no longer out put a signal on Channels 3/4. Dad went out and bought a new one. my brother kept the old one, took it off with him to college. he bought an RF adapter, and could still use it to tune channels, and watch movies from the video store.
a few years later, he's out of school, got a job in TX, and is loading up his belongings into his car to move clampett style. left the old vcr behind. so i hooked it up in my room. and some how EVERYTHING WORKED. almost as if it had "healed" it self over the years...few years later i had replaced it with a newer flashier model, and that unit went into a bin @ a local e-waste drive....either that, or i gave it to my buddy that liked to teardown old electronics to make "art" projects.... I don't remember which at the moment....
Had a 5 disk CD changer get toasted, and my electric fence charger literally blew off the barn wall and in pieces across the yard during a lightening storm many years ago. UPS protection on all my important electronics now (which is doubly handy for momentary brown/blackouts to keep the modem/router/ooma happy).
We lost three modems over the years (28.8 and 56K, and I think but not sure that my old Multitech 2400 baud was also taken out by a lightning strike. We also lost a couple of UPS units, and had an expensive Iso-Bar surge suppressor release the magic smoke as it gave its all to protect an expensive computer.
Funny, I never lost anything in Las Vegas, but once I moved to ill-annoy it became almost common for a while. Just another tax, I guess.
When I lived in PA, my house was apparently located on some really old infrastructure - and the power into the house was complete shit. Occasionally I could put a meter on the line and you'd see around 110 - then I'd power on my hair dryer and the line voltage would drop to 80. My CD and DVD player would not work at times, my TV would cut out or flicker like mad.
This all culminated when I came home from work one day to find my house dark. When they finally got the power back on my CD player was dead, an my phone/answering machine (which hung on the wall) had BURNED A SCAR INTO THE WALL that followed the power cord. I billed the power company for $1200 (including photos of my cooked CD player, wall, and the multimeter showing the shit quality of the power) and they paid without so much as a complaint. I moved - no idea if they every got that neighborhood up to snuff.
Then I moved back to Ohio where lightning and ice always managed to take the power out. I lost hard drives, PC modems, and two TiVos (well, I had to switch them to network cards after hacking) . I actually had the Director of my division give me his Tivo (that had a lifetime sub :) ) because the modem was blown and he had complained loud enough that they sent him a new one free.....
By that time I was using active power conditioning and UPS devices. My AV gear is just "conditioned" because most sub-$1000 UPSes put out square waves when inverting, and that can really fuck shit up. However - I do have a couple UPSes without batteries in them that I use as a filter/conditioner because they are good at it (one of the benefits from working in IT in a realm where gear like this is disposed of regularly)
A lightning strike set the building next to my work on fire and left scorch marks on the inside wall of our building where there used to be conduit. Ours probably would have caught on fire too, if there had been something flammable in any of the many places that got scorched.
Lots of damaged power supplies throughout the building. Surge protectors were overwhelmed. They left scorch marks too, as they sacrificed themselves. In most cases, the protected devices weren't protected enough.
This was about 25 years ago. Lightning doesn't strike like that very often.
I did recently learn that 12.1 gigawatt seconds is about the right amount of energy for a direct lightning strike, although they don't last 10 seconds, or provide an even power level. So Hollywood got the total power right in that movie, but not a plausible current path, or duration.
A surge protector will do nothing to protect your stuff in a direct lightning strike. The lightning will laugh as it fries everything connected by metal.
A lot of stuff gets fried not by lightning but by dirty power coming into your home or generated by other nasty things inside your home like refrigerator or A/C compressors, power tools, etc...
Our microwave ovens used to fail at least once per year. We tried most brands. They all died. Then we plugged the microwave oven into a surge protector. Never had one die due to dirty power since. (They fail for other reasons.)
Virtually all electronics in our home are plugged into surge protectors (don't have a whole home version yet, but we'd still use individual ones).
A condenser on the telephone pole at the edge of our property blew when a tree limb took down a connecting line. Not only did we lose the washing machine, one TV and the microwave, our electric panel was scorched. We were not allowed into the house until that was replaced.
Luckily, we had upgraded the panel five years earlier when we moved in; otherwise, the whole house would have gone up in flames.
You mentioned you had surge protectors… you may wish to check the brand website to see if they offer any ‘guarantee’ or whatnot and make a claim through them.
Also, look at your home’s insurance, and of course, contact BC Hydro again whilst recording the call and see if they won’t “casually” make a damning statement which you can use to support your claim when you make a claim against their insurance.
If you have proper surge protectors you don’t absolutely have to do this but it’s a good idea for computers. When power comes back on it can sometimes flicker on and off for a few seconds which is bad for the restart cycle of an electric device with a hard drive and CPU.
It can also surge, which means flood too much power in at once and fry your device.
This is one reason why most PC’s need to have a button pushed to restart, so they won’t flash on and off with power surges during a storm or other situation.