Safeguarding Your Pictures: How To Protect Your Photos From A Disaster | Families
Every time there is a natural disaster in our country like the recent floods in Colorado or the tornado that struck Moore, OK, first my heart goes out to the victims, then I start to think about everything they have lost. TVs, furniture, dishes - those things can all be replaced. It is the irreplaceable that tugs at my heart strings - the wedding photos, the first baby pictures in the hospital, the high school graduation snapshots. Unless care was taken to safeguard these photographs, they are now lost forever.
What steps can you take to protect your photos in a disaster? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1) Purge the bad and the ugly, keep only the good. If you truly have 10,000 photos (print or digital), you surely have duplicates, shots of the back of someone’s head or 10 pictures of the White House from the same angle. Narrow it down so you don’t have as much to deal with later.
2) Scan your printed pictures, at least the very special ones. No, you don’t need to scan all 10,000 of your old photos but do have the truly special ones digitized. In the event of a flood or a house fire those images will at least now be reproducible. That is if you follow step #3 as well.
You can hire a local photo scanning service (like me or other photo shops) to scan your pictures, slides or negatives. Or you can send your pictures off to a reputable scanning company like Fotobridge* to have them digitized. After they are digitized, you now have the added benefit of being able to make photo books and other photographic gift items.
3) Back up your digital photos. There are so many options to back up your digital photos. You can save to the cloud with programs like Carbonite, Dropbox, or iCloud. You can copy all of your photos onto an external hard drive and store the hard drive in someplace other than your home, perhaps with an out of town family member. You can use a backup device such as the Picture Keeper*, which is a small USB device that plugs into your computer. It automatically finds all the images you have on your computer and backs them up. Again you may want to keep this somewhere other than your home. Another really low tech back is to actually (Gasp!) print out your photos or have photo books made. When it comes to backing up your digital pictures, I believe you can never have too many backups!
4) Get help if you need it. There are professional photo organizers (like me) all over the country. We can help you organize and backup your photos as efficiently as possible. You can find a certified personal photo organizer near you by visiting the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO). We can help!
Don’t wait until there is an emergency or a disaster to realize how vulnerable your photos can be. Takes steps to safeguard them now.
*In full disclosure I am an affiliate of Fotobridge and Picture Keeper. If you make a purchase from these links, I may receive a small fee for the referral.
As the Chief Organizing Officer of Good Life Organizing, Andi Willis is a Professional Organizer who is passionate about helping people find creative solutions to organize their homes and simplify their lives. Working with clients from busy moms to busy executives, Andi helps people get past the clutter and get on with their lives! Learn more about Andi and Good Life Organizing at www.goodlifeorganizing.net.