Smart Phones for Smart Storm Prep

It’s an understatement to say that 2017 seems to be a big year for hurricanes. September is Save Your Photos Month, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what people can do to prepare their photos for natural disasters. I’ve written a post on the SaveYourPhotos blog about how to protect your photos when you have to evacuate

Obviously, you have to take care of yourself and your family first. Make a safe plan for your pets, and so many more tasks – the mind boggles. Here’s a disaster preparedness list from Ready.Gov.

What else can your smart phone do to help?

How can your smart phone help you with storm prep? Here are a few things you may want to do to prepare for the storm, whether you’re in the center of things and evacuating, or hunkering down to ride out the heavy rains around the edges of the storm.

Take a video

Video the contents of your house, and outside improvements and landscaping. Don’t worry if it’s neat and clean.

cluttered desk

At this point, having things spread out is helpful. You want a record for insurance purposes. You can do shorter clips of each floor of your home. You might want to supplement with photos or video close ups of the serial numbers of expensive items, and any labels or marks on antique furniture, etc.

Copy and store important documents

Take photos of important insurance documents. This could be your homeowner’s, renters or auto policy, your agent’s contact info, your medical insurance cards (front and back).

And of course, your flood insurance policy if you’re lucky enough to have that. 

Easier medication refills

Take photos of important prescription medications in case you, or a loved one, need refills. Make sure the whole label is legible, which can be tricky on a curved small bottle.

Where to put your records?

Save those photos and videos to SEVERAL safe places. Don’t just leave them on your phone. Put copies:

  • On your computer
  • On a USB drive that’s wrapped in multiple layers of plastic and tucked somewhere safe (and on a higher level of the house, bring with you if you evacuate).
  • In the cloud. Use a secure cloud storage site like Dropbox.com. If you don’t have a Dropbox account, now is a really good time to get one. Affiliate link for free Dropbox account. (I get more space in my Dropbox account for each person that signs up.) It’s one of the more secure free options for storing files in the cloud.

Good luck. Stay safe, and as dry as possible.

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