ITS Service Desk

How To Work Through An Outage

We occasionally experience a power outage or network outage on campus. It doesn't happen often, but it's usually quite unexpected and beyond our control. Nonetheless, we still need to figure out ways to work through them. These are some suggestions for how to prepare for and work through such events.


When the campus power goes out, all desktop computers will go down as well. Therefore, using a laptop and keeping it charged is a better option if you need to continue to work during a power outage. If all you need is email, then a charged smartphone will work well.

Please note that, depending on the nature of the power outage, our network may also be unavailable. But, having a laptop instead of a desktop gives you the best chance at being able to work. Read on for more info about network connectivity during an outage.

Staff members who have a desktop computer can request a laptop the next time we refresh your computer.

You can also inquire at Mulva Library to check out a laptop.


We've seen situations where a construction crew cuts a fiber line in the community, taking out our internet access in the process. There are also situations where there may be a network problem in a particular building or area of campus. When there are interruptions to our network, your ability to work just depends on the specific issue and how well you've prepared ahead of time.

If you need to continue to use your computer during a situation like this, our best suggestion is to have a WiFi hotspot available. A hotspot is a small device that uses a cell network for internet access. Your mobile devices (laptop, phone, etc) can then connect to the hotspot via WiFi, just like you would connect any other WiFi network.

While hotspots are not free, they're also not very expensive. Most modern smartphones can also serve has a hotspot, so you may already have all the hardware you need. Just contact your cell provider to discuss hotspot functionality and cost.


The main thing that we can recommend is to prepare for such events ahead of time. If you have a hotspot and would like to test it with your laptop, feel free to stop over at the ITS Service Desk and we'll be happy to help you set it up and test it.

We're also happy to meet with you or your department to talk about these issues and offer specific recommendations to help you continue to work effectively during an outage.

Need Help Now

If you find yourself in a situation where you need help getting access to resources during a power outage, feel free to stop in at the ITS Service Desk. If it's during regular business hours, we should be able to help you get online. At the very least, you can sit in our office area and use one of our hotspots. Please be sure to bring your phone and/or laptop.

If the Service Desk Express is open (in Mulva Library), we won't have access to as many resources, but we may still be able to help you use your own device to access email, etc.

Additional Resources

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