My current family disaster plan is this:
- Remember where in the house the kids are.
- Run to get them.
- Yell for husband and dog.
- Leave house (or run to basement, depending what’s coming).
- Grab purse on the way out.
Notice there’s no room for photos or genealogy in this procedure. Most of that stuff backed up online, although for a lot of it, I’d have to look up where to retrieve it. And it sure would be nice, once people and pets are safe, to be able to save our important family papers and photos.
But let’s face it: “Do the dishes or we’ll be forced to eat cereal with our fingers” trumps “Prepare family papers for a terrible disaster that with any luck won’t ever happen” on my to-do list.
Seeing the recent devastating floods in Colorado and fires in California has made me reconsider this non-plan for my family history materials. Before the end of the year, I want to
- organize my paper research, documents and photos in one place (using these hints from our interview with Eric Pourchot of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works)
- digitize everything that can be digitized (hear scanning tips from Family Curator Denise Levenick in this Family Tree Magazine Podcast)
- make sure it’s all backed up and easily accessible
- share everything with family so multiple copies exist
Would you like to take similar steps to protect your family archive? Our Genealogist’s Disaster Preparedness Kit can show you (and me) how to do it. It includes:
- our Disaster Preparedness for Genealogists webinar with Denise Levenick (it takes place Sept. 25, and you’ll receive the webinar recording even if you can’t attend the Sept. 25 presentation)
- How to Archive Family Keepsakes book by Denise Levenick
- Genealogy in the Cloud how-to article
You also can just register for the Disaster Preparedness for Genealogists webinar here.