Tornado Warnings and Life Today

Last Sunday we spent the late afternoon preparing to shelter in the basement if the weather forecast proved to be accurate.

It’s hard to trust anything these days, right?

My husband made the basement guest room bed with fresh linens for his wife who avoids going down to the basement at all costs. He gave the dogs an overdue bath, cleared a path in his workroom and gathered several flashlights. I also requested the motorcycle helmets. Don’t judge.

Meanwhile, I gathered my “go bag” which we’ve done a few times here living in the South where tornadoes have touched down and torn a path of destruction more times than I’d like to count.

Here is a photo from our basement eight years ago when two of our four darlings were still at home – tornado warning March 2012.

photo backup

Luckily, the tornadoes (yes, two) missed our suburb. And we missed several hours of sleep as we stayed up until 3:30 am watching the news and calling those two children in the motorcycle helmets. One slept through it. One took cover. Both are safe.

What I found most interesting this time is that since it’s just the two of us at the house, it was much calmer than when the kids were all here. And the stress level was lower as I got the same things I usually get…prescriptions, purse, laptop computer, water bottles, etc.

I used to think when bad weather was coming that if we suffered damages…what are the most important things we want to try to protect and save after the people and pets and it was always our photos. How sad I would be if the photo albums were destroyed.

But this time it was different.

I realized that our most precious photos are all backed up on an external hard drive in a safe. We’ve scanned the most important printed photos and now have digital copies.

And if the safe was damaged or destroyed then I also have the photos backed up on THREE clouds. Yes, that’s right, I like to have them backed up in multiple places.

Because WHAT IF one of the cloud storage companies go out of business? 😳 I’ve said that for years. Now amid this upside-down world, that is more true than ever.

So here’s my best advice about your photos and ONE THING you can do today even if you aren’t mentally ready to tackle getting your photos organized. (Because who can concentrate on anything right now for more than 15 minutes at a time?)

1. Just back up your photos. ✅

That’s it. Just back them up.

You can back up your whole computer using Backblaze. Rita and I both use it and recommend it to our clients. Listen here to learn more about how we backup our photos.

You can back up your phone photos using Dropbox. Or SmugMug. Or iMemories.

Pick one or two. Or three. 😉

P.S. Okay, maybe two things…check and make sure your back up is working. We often encounter people who think their phone is backed up to iCloud or Google Photos and then they upgrade their phone and see a gap where the backup stopped working. Just double-check it right now. For your peace of mind!

8 thoughts on “Tornado Warnings and Life Today”

  1. What’s that saying? Something about when you know better, do better?

    Before becoming a photo organizer myself, I was very faithful at backing up my pics on an external hard drive. And as someone born and raised in Kansas (think Wizard of Oz) I have my ‘go bag’ ready and just throw my computer in as we head downstairs. But one day it hit me. What if a tornado hit and I’m not home? There goes my photos, my computer and probably my hard drive. That’s when I finally started looking into cloud systems. I too have them in more than one cloud system, for my peace of mind.

    1. Lori – you are right in “tornado alley” so unfortunately are a pro at getting your “go bag” ready quickly. Grateful for those cloud backups just in case of these emergencies!!

  2. Sherra
    Thank you for sharing. I also have everything backed up multiple times “just in case”. I have experienced having two of my three back-up crash and never want to have that stress again.
    Our photos are so precious and we never know “when” something could happen. Your sharing, reminds all of us to check our back-ups to make sure they are working properly, set them up if we don’t have them and make sure to scan all of our photos. It is so important to make sure all of our photos are protected, not just our clients.
    I am so happy you are ok, sorry you had to go through the stress of the tornadoes and not having your loved ones with you.

  3. “…make sure your backup is working.” Great tip! I’m an Android user and have both Google Photos and Dropbox backing up my photos automatically. It seems that these 2 interfere with each other and I have to actually open the Dropbox app to get it to realize there are new photos to include. YMMV. So glad that you are safe!

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