One of the most precious possessions that you might lose in a disaster is that stack of family photos. Thinking about losing them just makes me sad. My heart broke recently when I saw pictures being sorted and workers trying to salvage them after the recent flooding in Texas. While not as devastating as a flood or fire, have you ever accidentally erased a memory card on your camera, or had a computer or phone to crash? Photos are lost, and it can get pricey to retrieve them!
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect these family treasures from disaster. Saving these photos can be an important (and fun!) part of your emergency preparations. Here are 4 things you can do to save your family photos.
While this step can be really time consuming, scanning old or professional photos is a surefire way to protect them. You can scan them one at a time, or several on the 8.5 x 11 inch scanner bed. You can also scan negatives, too! While you can’t make copies from photo websites of professional photos, you will have digital images that you can print at home.
Store Them Online
This is popular option that many people take advantage of when ordering from photo websites like Snapfish or Shutterfly. They have archived albums of all the photos you upload, along with the date. You can even scan photos to store there, not just the ones that come from your digital camera. Sometimes you have the option to order a CD of your prints, too. You could take those CD’s and put them in your emergency kit or in your bank box.
Use Flash Drives
Flash drives can hold a LOT of info in a tiny space. Consider backing up your photos stored on your computer or memory card to a flash drive and putting the flash drives into your emergency kit. If you really wanted to be diligent, you could make a duplicate flash drive and store it at a secondary location, like at a relatives home. This is also a good time to remind you to constantly upload your most recent photos somewhere, and try to do this monthly, that way, if there is a crash of some kind, you don’t lose them all.
Try Cloud Storage
You can back your photo storage up to your iCloud, Google Drive, or even to DropBox. That way, if your computre or phone crashes, you have backup digital storage of your photos. The memory card to my camera got erased last fall, and I hadn’t uploaded anything to any kind of social media or photo storage, and it was awful! A computer repair shop was able to restore most of them, but we didn’t get them all back. Oh, how I wished I had backed them up!
While your photos aren’t your most important prep, they are certainly something you want to try and protect if at all possible. You can be proactive now about taking some time to start digitizing your pictures and storing them, so that if you need to grab and go, you can grab a bag of flash drives or a CD wallet, and know that you have your photos saved.