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Hurricane and Other Disaster Preparations - Include Saving Family Mementos, Pictures, Writings and Documents

Updated on November 16, 2019
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The former executive director of a successful nonprofit agency now content specialist, Cynthia writes about a variety of researched topics.

Does your disaster preparedness plan include saving family pictures and mementos? Cynthia:2011
Does your disaster preparedness plan include saving family pictures and mementos? Cynthia:2011 | Source

Hurricane and Other Disaster Preparations Should Also Mean Saving Your Photos, Family Mementos and Your Writing

Saving your family mementos and pictures are an important part of disaster preparedness for hurricanes, fires, tornadoes and floods. How often do you see dazed an bewildered victims of catastrophes like tornadoes and floods lament the loss of their precious memories, pictures and mementos of family members that can never be replaced?

As you make plans for a major emergency or disastrous event, don't forget to include family mementos like your irreplaceable wedding pictures, the baby pictures, and pictures of beloved relatives. None of these items can ever be replaced - they were priceless. However, today's technology means that with a little time and preparation, your precious photo, videos and other documents like your writing and items will not be lost to wind, flood, earthquake, or even fire. I have included a few relatively simple tips for saving your photos and documents.

1. Scan photos for digitial storage. This is easily done today with special apps on your phone when part of your emergency disaster preparedness includes saving family mementos. An alternative is storage on a flash or junk drive that you keep with you. Add it to the keychain that you keep with you or place it in a secure place, like a weatherproof safe.

2. Transfer photos, documents, writing and more to the cloud. If your computer is destroyed, you still have your information and it can be retrieved using any computer. If you have a laptop and you have advance warning, of course any paper pictures you have taken and processed can be transferred to your computer. Still you run the risk of losing that computer. Cloud storage is probably safest. Hopefully the laptop will hopefully end up in your car even amid what is sure to be chaos. If you are depending on hardware for digital storage, the National Archives, at suggests that you remember hardware can become outdated and your scanned items can become difficult to retrieve. This is a reason for backing up your photos and other valuables or investing in cloud storage.

Tip: Admittedly, scanning your old photos or family pictures that may have been handed down may be a Heculean task, especilly if you have been prone to taking lots of pictures of your family. To make the task more manageable, start with small goals, such as scan all the heirloom pictures before moving on to the wedding pictures and videos, then on to the baby pictures, and so on. Enlist the help of others. There is probably a teen somewhere that is hungry for work.

3. If you are a writer or keep copious journals in hard copy, consider moving your writings to the computer. If you are an artsy journalist, you may want to store those artfully crafted journals in a waterproof safe. You are well aware that you will never be able to replace or duplicate your writings or any artwork attached to it. Better to formulate a plan that will save them in case of disaster.

4. Invest in a waterproof/fireproof safe to store your jewelry and important papers such as insurance papers, deeds and other items. Have easy access to that safe.

5. Store precious items in a safe deposit box at your most convenient bank branch.

6. Scan the contents of your scrapbooks. Scrapbooking is still a very popular pasttime. When there is advance warning of a hurricane or flood, place your scrapbooks in plastics bags and put them in a safe location or pack them to bring with you if you are evacuating.

7. Many of us still have videos full of memories. There are companies that will organize and digitize the contents for you. They will transfer them to disks, flash drives or other digital devices. Have easy access to them should you need to evacuate your home. These items won't take up much room as you drop them into a clear plastic bag.

If your home is destroyed and you weren't able to save your irreplaceable items such your photos, turn to other family members as a source of family pictures and videos. When my sister-in-law lost her home to a fire, other family members at least provided pictures taken of family events. Even though she experienced the trauma of losing everything, she had some comfort finding there were other pictures of her children throughout the years.

Be proactive, don't wait for disaster to threaten. Have a disaster preparedness plan for your family and also plan for saving family mementos, pictures and documents. It can be one way to mitigate some of the consequences. Plan, be prepared, take action sooner rather than later!

The point is, if it is irreplaceable, if it is important to you, then you should consider how you will save your family mementos and important documents.


To build a disaster preparedness kit visit for information to help keep your family safe.

When preparing for an emergency, don't wait for the storm clouds before starting your disaster preparations.
When preparing for an emergency, don't wait for the storm clouds before starting your disaster preparations. | Source

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Cynthia B Turner


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