Surge protectors are designed to help protect against small spikes and surges. They will not help with large spikes (like a lightning hit). Lightning arcs across miles of air, a little tiny air gap in a surge protector isn't going to challenge it.
That being said, when the power is restored is when the surges are largest (outside of a lightning hit) and you can loose equipment then. Cheap strips offer very little, if any real protection. Unplugging and then having a controlled replugging and power on of things in your house does help save expensive equipment.