What’s Your Risk From Disaster?
Wherever you live, work, or play, your genealogy is at risk from natural and manmade disasters.
In Southern California, we worry about earthquakes and wildfires — those natural disasters often lead to home (and keepsakes) damaged or destroyed by fire, water, or power loss. You may worry about hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or volcanoes.
Fortunately, you CAN take steps to prevent the total loss of your research and your family keepsakes. This 7-Step Genealogy Disaster Plan can provide peace-of-mind and an action plan for preserving family history —
Genealogy Disaster Plan
1. Inventory, Prioritize, and Digitize
You might not be able to save everything in the event of a devastating natural disaster, but digital copies can provide replacement copies of photos and documents, and information evidence of artifacts and other memorabilia. Inventory, prioritize, and digitize to create a digital archive of your most important materials.
2. Backup Your Digital Files
You can’t hear it enough — Backup, Backup, Backup. Remember to unplug your backup hard drive and take it with you if you need to evacuate.
3. Preserve Your Keepsakes
Don’t just throw your treasures in any box and think they are preserved. You need to use Archival containers that will help your items last as long as possible.
4. Store Your Keepsakes
You also need to store those archival boxes in the best location possible — moderate temperature and humidity, and free from pests, pollution, and light.
5. Make a Genealogy Grab & Go List
Sometimes, you’ll have time to prepare for an impending disaster. Save time with a list of items that you want to preserve.
6. Create a Genealogy Disaster Kit
Assemble a few items to help you recover your keepsakes after a disaster. You’ll need protective gear, cleaning supplies, and storage containers.
7. Stay Alert and Up to Date
Keep informed, backup often, and migrate digital files as media becomes older.