How to Protect Your Family Photos When Disaster Hits
When there is rough weather on the horizon, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the tasks you must complete. In the Space Coast, our natural disasters usually come from Hurricanes. Currently the threat is coming from Hurricane Irma, which is looming in the Pacific. Luckily it is a slow moving storm and we have time to prepare our homes. Protecting family photos is one of the most important items on everyone's checklist. With that in mind, here is a guide to protecting your precious memories.
Sheet protectors are a great option for protecting your loose printed images. For added security, use a clothing iron or hair straightener on low to seal the open side shut. Be sure to place a piece of wax or parchment paper between the heat source and the plastic sleeve.
Another option is to place a dryer sheet in between each print and place the stack within a double seal ziploc bag. The dryer sheets will prevent any humidity and moisture from causing your photos to stick to one another, as well as add padding to prevent scratches.
If your prints are framed and hanging on your walls, the best way to protect them from inclimate weather is to wrap them in clear plastic wrap, being sure to cover all gaps and holes. Once your framed photo is wrapped up, place it into a plastic tote or bin with a lid. Store the bin as high as you can off of the ground, in case of flood waters entering your home.
If your images are in a digital format, you may think you are protected. This is not always the case. To protect your digital files, they must be stored in a minimum of three different locations. One of these should be a portable drive such as a USB drive or external hard drive, which you should then protect with plastic wrap or a double seal ziploc bag. Other options for storage include online or "Cloud" storage, emailing the images to a friend or relative in another state, and saved onto a mobile device such as a smartphone or laptop.
As Hurricane Irma nears, I want to urge all of you to prepare your homes and yourselves. This storm may very well turn and dissipate into the Pacific, but it never hurts to be a little extra cautious. This is a large and dangerous storm, however we have been blessed with an ample amount of forewarning.
Stay safe, everyone!