Archive for September 13th, 2010

September 13, 2010

It’s Hurricane Season… where are your photos?

It’s officially hurricane season (it has been for a while) and as Scott Simon of NPR tweeted earlier today, a Hurricane named Igor seems a lot scarier than Hurricane named Earl. But, no matter, it’s past time to have a Hurricane Plan. So here are my thoughts.

Flashlights with Fresh Batteries – Check
Enough Fresh Water to Last Several Days (One Gallon Per Person/Per Day) – Oops, I’ve got some but not enough, better put that on the to do list.
Battery Operated Radio (or one that we can wind up to listen to) – Check (thanks to Georgia Public Radio!)
And of course, there is more… but

I think you get the drift (please check here for a comprehensive list of hurricane preparedness tips), because what I really want to talk about is your photos.

First, do you know where your photos are?

Are they scattered all over the house, tucked in drawers, baskets, etc? If they aren’t in a central location – that should be. This is step one.

At Least They Are All In One Place!

For physical photos, I use a Power Sort Box by Creative Memories and Photo Albums. I’m a Creative Memories Consultant, so that is a given. But even if I weren’t, this is a box I’d want.  It features dark storage (benefit = your photos are protected from light, photo’s natural enemy), the material is photo safe (benefit = materials won’t speed up degradation of photos) and it holds 1200 photos (benefit = just enough photos that you can carry it comfortably) with a lid that clasps (benefit = if it drops, the photos mostly stay in place).

If you have to evacuate, you want to access your photos quickly and easily. I probably have too many albums to load all of them in the car, so I’ve been giving some thought to which albums I’d take. I’ve decided I’d take the albums which have “film” photos in them, such as my wedding album, my 12 year old’s baby album, and her first school album. I can’t replace those.  If I can get the dogs and cats to cooperate, I may try to find room for more! Of course, I hope it won’t come to that, but, it’s good to consider these questions now, while my brain isn’t in panic mode.

This Is More Like It!

So, what about all those digital photos?

First, backing up is ESSENTIAL! I use Memory Manager (from Creative Memories… big surprise) and here is the simple reason. It works really well and backs up automatically every time I shut down. In 2005, I lost about three months of photos (on a new computer which completely died). Never Again! As soon as I got my replacement computer I bought an external hard drive and forever after have used the “shadow copy” feature of Memory Manager.

I figure that part of my evacuation plan will be to grab my external hard drive (much easier than trying to grab a tower. Additionally, I am using Mozy to back up to an offsite location. This way I have three copies of all my photos – my originals, my shadow copy and a copy that is not in my house.  Occasionally I back up to CD, but I do this less and less, since I have the other options. There are other great options for offsite photo back up including but not limited to the Creative Memories Photo Center, Shutterfly, and Flickr.

Do you have a hurricane plan for your photos? I’d love to hear your tips… please share your suggestions!