Living in a hurricane zone makes life interesting for several months each year. I remember watching news reports of devastating hurricanes that demolished houses built on beaches or near large bodies of water and thinking “What were they thinking, to want to live THERE? What did they expect?” And now, here I am, living on a tiny island in a house on stilts, seventeen feet in the air, right above a large body of water called Galveston Bay.
Hurricanes are no joke here. In 2008, two years before we moved here, Galveston Island (which is much larger than Tiki Island) was pounded by Ike, which was ‘only’ a Category 2 hurricane, but it was massive and produced the greatest storm surge ever seen with a Category 2 hurricane. Galveston Island is a long, narrow, barrier island – about 30 miles long and only a mile wide at its widest point, and much of the damage done to Galveston happened not only because of the winds and waves in the Gulf of Mexico but due to the storm surge coming from the other side – the bay side.
Despite major warnings and evacuation orders starting days before Ike made landfall, many people didn’t comply. I guess you never think it will happen to you… Along this part of the Texas coast, over 140,000 people did not evacuate, despite the mandatory order to do so. Almost 1000 people were rescued from rising waters, and nearly 2000 were rescued after the storm. 84 people lost their lives. Estimates of damage from Hurricane Ike hit 37.6 BILLION dollars, and of course, that figure does not include memories lost, in the form of photographs, albums, slides, videos, documents, letters, and more. And even if it did, we know those memories are precious and PRICELESS.
Although our house (which wasn’t ours at the time) survived Ike, I will be among the first to hit the road when the next big storm comes our way. My friends and I have our evacuation plan in place, but it doesn’t include room to take all of the material goods that we value. That is why my Forever account is so important to me! With all of the things I have to worry about when preparing for a major storm, knowing that my digital images are safely stored in multiple places around the country is such a blessing. Important documents have been scanned and saved; my favorite digital images are secure in my Forever albums, and I’m in the process of filling boxes full of non-digital images to be converted and stored in my Forever account. Guess I’d better get that done, now that is is officially hurricane season!
You may not live in a hurricane zone, but none of us live in a place where we are immune to natural disasters. Floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, hail, lightning strikes, and even things like robberies, computer crashes, and pets can wreak havoc on our photographs, albums, books, and other precious memories. A couple of years ago, I lost three external hard drives in the space of a few weeks. Two just stopped working, while I was in the process of using them, and one dropped about six inches to the table top when I forgot I had it plugged in and picked up my laptop to move it. NONE of the information on those devices could be retrieved, even though I was willing to pay big bucks to try.
Thankfully, the worst thing I lost was a good number of digital scrapbook pages that I created in Artisan, and while that is heartbreaking, it’s not the end of the world. Because I had posted the completed pages on Facebook or on pixels2Pages.net, I have the .jpg images (although not at high resolution) as well as a list of the content I used to create them and the fonts I used. It does mean I have to recreate those pages, though….
One of my favorite new features in Artisan 5 is the ‘Share’ button that allows me to upload my completed album pages directly to my Forever account. As soon as I finish a page and proofread it, I save it to my Forever account. In the description of each page, I list contents, fonts, and Blueprints or Challenges used to create it – just in case I want to make changes – but I can always download that .jpg image and print it if needed. Oh, to have had that feature a couple of years ago!
What is your emergency plan for saving your photographs and important documents? Are they all in one place? Could you get to them in a hurry? Would you know they were missing if you were robbed? Are your memories and photos out where you can enjoy them – in books, albums, frames, or otherwise displayed? Locking them in a fireproof safe isn’t the answer, either! Have a look around your house now, and think about the images and pages that are most important to you, and evaluate your current situation. Make a plan to get things the way you want them, and then act on it! Support is only a phone call (1-888-FOREVER) or email away – Forever Ambassadors are happy to help you save your photos!
Did you know that September is Save Your Photos Month, sponsored by APPO? We will be celebrating it while we are at Forever LIVE in Nashville, and we’d love to have you join us there! Read more about other Save Your Photos Month events and happenings and get more tips for safekeeping your photos by checking out their website. You’ll even see this blog there tomorrow!