Will Your Photos Survive a Disaster?
Disasters throughout the world are destroying photo collections. Don't let yours be one of them.
The images and stories of the devastation left in the wake of recent disasters have been overwhelming. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires seem to have increased in number and intensity. I think most of us know someone who was affected by Hurricane Harvey and/or Irma and/or Maria or the fires in California, Idaho, and Montana. The stories of people fleeing for their lives as flood waters consumed their homes are heartbreaking. It was reported that during Hurricane Harvey alone, 100,000 homes were flooded.
I read an article recently about one of those homes. The author described how his grandmother and other family members barely escaped the rising flood waters as Hurricane Harvey slammed into Houston. Thankfully, they were able to find shelter in a friend’s home on higher ground.
When the water receded and they were able to return to the home, they spent the next several days removing everything from the home. Nearly a week after the hurricane hit, as they were cleaning out a back bedroom, they found an old wooden suitcase in the bottom of a closet. Inside that suitcase, they discovered printed photos, negatives and 8mm film reels. The author described the family's frantic effort to salvage his grandmother’s memories. It appears that their efforts have been successful and most of the photos have been saved. The saddest part of this story for me was this statement: “Of all my grandmother’s losses from Hurricane Harvey, the old family photos have been among the hardest to accept, both for my grandmother and for the entire family.”
What a devastating loss. Surely there are thousands of other stories similar to this one. Some have lost entire photo collections.
Ironically, September is Save Your Photos Month. So where are your photos? Would they have survived Hurricane Harvey? If your precious memories are sitting in suitcases, boxes or bins, don’t wait for a disaster to make them a priority. Get them out of boxes, get them digitized and share them with those you love. It may seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s a walk in the park compared to the task of recovering water damaged photos.
Make a plan today to preserve your photo legacy and imagine the peace of mind you will have knowing that your memories will survive the storms.
Preserving Your Heritage offers comprehensive photo organizing, digitizing and preservation services. Let us know how we can help you preserve your family's legacy.
Special thanks to Michael C. Duke for allowing us to share his story and his photos. You can read his article here: https://petapixel.com/2017/09/12/saving-priceless-family-photos-hurricane-harvey-floodwaters/