Your Legacy Needs You
If all you have left of your loved ones are pictures and letters, consider putting some effort into protecting their legacy from natural disasters. Rather than deliver a long list of options that may or may not work like sticking pictures in a dishwasher or using mass amounts of duct tape, I’m going to outline a single process that will have your legacy covered regardless of a hurricane, earthquake, fire, or flood. We have to accept that in the case of natural disasters unpredictable things are going to happen. Safety measures will be tested and broken. Containers will cease to contain. Bags will be punctured. Dishwashers may wash your neighbor’s photos. Water will rise higher than we imagined. Looters will take what isn’t theirs to take. Where does this leave us?
Assume the Worst
This leaves us exercising zero faith in any physical item surviving a natural disaster. Assume everything you own will be lost or destroyed and work from there.
So how do we preserve all those special photos and documents that supplement our legacy? We digitize them.
- Scan every photo and document that’s important to you. Scan pictures at a minimum of 600 dpi and save them as .jpg or .png files. Yes, the files may seem large but in relation to your priceless legacy hard drives are very affordable. Scan documents at a minimum of 300 dpi and save them as .pdf files.
- Save these digitized pictures and documents to your computer or laptop.
- Save the digitized pictures and documents to an external hard drive.
- Upload the digitized pictures and documents to a cloud or online backup service.
That Sounds Hard
If you don’t own a scanner there are many companies who will be happy to digitize things for you. Google “digitize pictures” and you’re a click away from various options. For step 3, external hard drives are easy to find online, in electronics stores, or even big box retailers like Walmart and Target. Western Digital makes external hard drives that are easy to use. Buy an external hard drive with more space than you think you’ll need — I promise you will find a way to use all that space. For step 4, you’ll want to subscribe to a cloud or online back-up service. Google “online backup” and select one of the options. Follow their directions and pay them a monthly fee.
Digitizing your documents keeps your legacy safe in case something happens to the actual documents. Take your computer or laptop with you to safety and you’re covered. When you can’t move your computer you can more easily grab and transport your external drive. If you’re unable to move anything away from the danger you will be able to recover everything from the cloud at a later date. The idea here is to follow a few reasonable steps to put space between your legacy and the destruction brought on by natural disasters.
You already have your legacy captured in a StoryKeeping production so now’s the time to follow these same steps with your videos. Distribute your production to multiple family members so they can save all the movie files to their computers. Have them save the production to external hard drives, and suggest they select a different cloud service from other family members in case any of the service providers experience issues.
Regardless of natural disasters you should upload your movie files to a YouTube or Vimeo account (and set them to private if you don’t want the world to watch them) so your family can stream them whenever and wherever they want. Unread books and unwatched movies serve no purpose, so let’s keep that legacy alive.
How are you keeping your legacy alive? Click here and tell me all about it: http://www.storykeeping.com/#about