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Disaster Preparedness Planning Should Include Saving Family Mementos, Pictures, Writings and Documents

Updated on September 6, 2017
Cyndi10 profile image

Cynthia - a freelance writer believing in the power of words; writing about business, travel, gardening, family, pets, health & wellness.

Does your disaster preparedness plan include saving family mementos? Cynthia:2011
Does your disaster preparedness plan include saving family mementos? Cynthia:2011

Disaster Preparedness Also Means Saving Your Photos, Family Mementos and Your Writing

Saving your family mementos and pictures are an important part of disaster preparedness. 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. In the past, none of these items could ever be replaced, nor could they be saved unless they were stored offsite or in some impenetrable place; they were priceless. However, today's technology means that with a little time and preparation, they will not be lost to wind, flood, earthquake, or even fire.

When part of your emergency disaster preparedness includes saving family mementos, scan pictures for digital storage. An alternative is storage on a flash drive that you keep with you, add it to your keychain, keep in a secure place, like a weatherproof safe.

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 and to cloud storage. Hopefully the laptop will hopefully end up in your car even amid what is sure to be chaos. Though a little dated, 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are depending on hardware for digital storage, the National Archives, at suggests that you remember hardware can become outdated and your scanned items can become difficult to retrieve.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.

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 as you scan your pictures. There is probably a teen somewhere that is hungry for work. The point is to save items of your past which can lessen the trauma of the present day disaster and help keep you grounded. It's a strand, a link to your family history for you and your children. A valuable part of your disaster preparedness plan is saving those family mementos and pictures.

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.

Invest in a waterproof/fireproof safe to store your jewelry and important papers such as insurance papers, deeds and other items. These can also be stored in a safe deposit box at your most convenient bank branch.

Scrapbooks or other items should have their contents scanned and saved. If you haven't and there is time, wrap them in plastics bags and put them in a safe location. A basement is rarely a safe location because of the potential for ongoing dampness.

If your home is destroyed and you weren't able to save your irreplaceable items, 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.

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.


Resources for Saving Family Mementos

Ultimately, it's your family's safety that is most important. Being prepared for the sudden disaster could be the difference between life and death. Make a checklist of everything you should do and have on hand to insure your family's safety. It it's possible, preserving your family's unique history should be considered as a part of your plan.

There are resources you can reference for the actions and necessities, including kits for all types of emergency disaster preparedness. Some include saving family mementos and pictures. Some people consciously decide not to concern themselves with possible occurrences in hopes that nothing will ever happen. And that's okay. We each make our own decisions. However, for those who see that things can happen, whether we are prepared or not, I have listed a number of sites that can help with planning.

Whether you like it or not, prepared or not, disaster will strike somewhere, sometime. Hopefully, it won't be your place nor your time, but in an emergency, disaster preparedness is a way to save yourself and your family, as well as to save family mementos and pictures. 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!

Don't wait for storm clouds in emergency disaster preparedness plans
Don't wait for storm clouds in emergency disaster preparedness plans | Source

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© 2011 Cynthia B Turner


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    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      I hope that you will implement some of them. There are many ways to be prepared. Thank you for commenting.

    • profile image

      levi byrd 6 years ago

      These are good tips on saving your mementos.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      You are so right. It's always the other person, but we know that we are just as vulnerable as the next person. There are little things we should be doing every day, but put off.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Disaster recovery is an important thing to think about, but most of us tend to shove it to the back of our mind. I, for one, never back my laptop up onto the external hard drive often enough and then do not keep them in separate places. I suppose that we never really think that it will happen to us.