When asked what they would grab on their way out the door in an emergency (assuming that all family members were safely out), many people say they’d take their photographs. But what if you’re not at home when the fire, flood, or other disaster strikes?
Now it’s easier than ever to protect those cherished photos. By scanning the pictures and storing them digitally, everyone can enjoy cherished photos and protect them, too.
I’ve recently begun to use Scan Café, a service that scans negatives, slides, and photos and converts them to digital media that’s easy to back up and store away from my home. I just collect my pictures, send them off to Scan Café in the pre-paid and labeled box. They scan them, return the originals, and provide a DVD of the scanned images.
I then load the digital images onto my computer and let my online backup service (such as Mozy, Carbonite, CrashPlan, or similar service) keep a copy of the digital files. I can also send the DVD to offsite storage in a safety deposit box, at the office, or with a trusted family member.
According to Scan Café, over half of all Americans have already lost photos stored in their homes as a result of fire, water, damage caused by a child or pet, things getting lost in a move, or other cause.
And tragedies don’t happen only to our ordinary snapshots. I’ve written before about the loss of valuable film in documentary filmmaker David Hoffman‘s hilltop house fire. Another example is the destruction of the archive of the late Jacques Lowe, President John Kennedy’s personal photographer, lost on September 11th, 2001, when the World Trade Center collapsed on a safe deposit vault where they were stored, obliterating some 40,000 negatives, many of which had never been published.
How many photos would you want to preserve in a disaster? How do you keep them safe? Leave a comment here.