We had quite a few outages during the gales either side of Christmas and in the cold snap the year before.
Unplugging the backup drives after use is a another good bit of stable door management.
To your earlier post, I love the USB boot sticks; it often saves the day. I've had Linux happily install on systems where Windows (XP, Vista and 7) insist there is not a HD, and Ubuntu will happily install fine and get everything working, and can then install Windows along side.
I have to say I've been impressed with just how tough hard-drives can be.... If you buy the right hard-drive, I wouldn't recommend cutting corners with computer hardware you get what you pay for. My entire laptop has survived a power outage, hard-drive was partly damaged, carried on working however, though slowly failed over time, until I replaced it. (Had to get a new transformer though, it took the brunt).
I have to recommend backing everything up. Personally I just clone my HD every month. Works beautifully, was seemless for me, just put the clone onto my new hard-drive and viola computer was exactly the same. Though was disappointed I couldn't get my external hard-drive to work though while I waited for the replacement. Power was cut to the USB ports during start up for some reason, which obviously then caused Windows start up to fail.
Seagate are who I recommend, ridiculously long guarantee's; I'd predict most people will of got a new computer before the guarantee runs out.