Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tip # 24...If you had to evacuate your home today, what would you take with you? Prepare now

Each of us has seen the fires raging in California this week. Over a quarter of a million people had to evacuate their homes quickly. Many houses were completely destroyed. We send everyone there our sympathy and prayers and hope their lives will return to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible. From a family history perspective, their challenge raises important questions for us. What would you take if you were told you had to leave your home right now?

My first thoughts are to grab my children, computers, purse and run. With more consideration, I also want to take more things such as the family Bible, the photographs, maybe some clothes, water, etc. At this point I realize I am not at all prepared for evacuation.

Floods, fires, hurricanes and other calamities have forced this decision on many people. While survival is the goal, if you do have a chance to save items, preparation is the key. We need to
be ready with:
  • Easy to locate, preplanned items
  • Food, water and clothing
  • Cash (will ATMs work during the crisis?)
  • Family history back up materials

I know I am not ready to evacuate my house. I do not have the right things stored in the right places. I do not have the backups in place I need. I also know the regret I would feel to lose these items. And, I am an amateur at evacuation.

Yet, this step is critical for us if any of our historical research is to survive. So, I investigated a few sites for information and have listed the links below.

These sites are just starters. Everyone has unique belongings and what may be important to me may not be as important to you. Yet, it behooves us to plan ahead so we can live with satisfaction that we did the very best we could.

And, let me know your thoughts on what you would take. It may be something I would want to take along, too.


Frank said...

Preparing for the unforeseen is good advise. What I have been considering doing is scanning all family documents into the computer and putting them onto CDs or DVDs. I have also heard that using flash memory is a good way to store documentation. Unfortunately, I do not think there is any perfect way to truly protect the actual documents (if you have a lot of them) without spending a ton o' money. But again, very good suggestion and definitely food for thought. Thanks.

Anna said...
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Anna said...

I think the flash drive is a great backup as are CDs and DVDs. If you compare the length of time each has existed, it is hard to compare to the longevity of print. I think a plan which uses a variety of backups is wise. Dry climates vs. humid climates will also impact your storage choices. I have looked at some archival options and here are a few more sites for options. It can seem expensive, but when what you have is priceless....

Frank said...

I have been told that for archival purposes that even CDs can degrade, but that flash memory of even a spare hard drive can be the best abd will not degrade. Of course, this is all rumor and heresay and demands further investigation.