September is Save Your Photos Month!

By Ashlee Peck

September is Save Your Photos Month, and September 30th is Save Your Photos Day! We chatted with Gordon Nuttall, CEO of Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner, to find out how exactly this holiday came about, plus a few tips for what you can do to protect and preserve your photos.

Save Your Photos Month

Many genealogists are aware of Flip-Pal, the incredibly simple and portable scanner that makes digitizing your photos an absolute breeze. What most don’t know, however, is the role that Flip-Pal played in the creation of Save Your Photos Month, and how much work the company has done to help people save their photos after disasters strike.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the US coast, and quickly became the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, and the second-costliest hurricane in United States history.  In the midst of the destruction and loss of homes, thousands of photographs began washing up on the shores of the New Jersey coastline.  As people began to notice this, they started gathering the photos and saving them. When Flip-Pal got word of this, they headed to the coastline to join the efforts. The Flip-Pal team helped gather the photographs from along the beach, and began scanning all of the photos and uploading them to an indexed Facebook page, where people were able to get online and check the images for their photos. They were then able to come to one of the locations Flip-Pal had set up on Union Beach and be reunited with their family photographs.

Flip-Pal didn’t pull off this massive effort all on their own, they had the help of the Boy Scouts who quickly learned how to scan the photos using the scanner.  Companies like Home Depot also contributed space in their buildings to the effort, providing a dry space to work on sorting and scanning the images.

Through the combined efforts of Flip-Pal and volunteers during the Hurricane Sandy crisis, they were able to salvage 60,000 photographs!  This is a feat that couldn’t have been pulled off with most scanner products, but because Flip-Pal is very mobile and easy to use, and requires no power, it was the perfect tool to use during such an event.

After Hurricane Sandy, the US continued to see more hurricanes and natural disasters. While at a conference, Flip-Pal approached APPO, the Association of Personal Photo Organizers, and made the suggestion that there be a Save Your Photos Month. APPO loved the idea, and they ran with it and have made the month what it is today.

Flip-Pal continues to help during natural disasters, recently sending scanners to Texas where people have been sharing the devices and helping each other recover their memories.  They also are currently offering their Rescuing Water Damaged Photos eguide for free.

Gordon of Flip-Pal noted that the most important thing you can do if your photographs are found in water is to wash them off and then dry them as quickly as possible.  Once they’re dry, put them in your refrigerator. This will dehydrate the images, drawing out any remaining moisture.

So what can you do for Save Your Photos Month? It’s the perfect time to work on protecting all of your precious photographs. Take the time to scan your images onto a computer, and also be sure to back them up. Labeling your photos (with names, dates, and any notes) once they been made digital is also key to being able to fully share memories down the road.

Don’t own a scanner? Flip-Pal is currently offering their Save Your Photos Value Pack at $20 off, and providing free shipping.

Take some time this month to protect your memories!