Earlier this month San Bruno California became a household name because of the horrific PG&E gas explosion in the Crestmoor area of the city. We know there were 8 confirmed dead and many dealing with severe burns that are life altering. The people who lost their homes, and were fortunate also to escape with their lives, have lost everything. When this type of disaster happens it makes one stop and think about what you might do in the same situation. Besides having a safety plan for your family, you might consider duplicating your most precious documents and storing them virtually, in the cloud. Just in case you’re not familiar with “the cloud”, it’s a way to store documents online and often for free.
Pictures are often stored online today, so many of us have some of them there, but likely not all. If you have lots of pictures that are printed, it becomes a challenge about what to do. You can scan them, and then upload them to Google Docs, Apple’s Me, or Drop Box or any one of the other free clouds available to us today. Obviously if you have hundreds and hundreds of them, it means you decide which are the most precious. Take some time and go through them and then scan them, upload them, and keep them safe and accessible by you and others you might choose to have access.
The same thing goes for important papers you have. It’s very easy to turn printed documents into PDF files and then upload them to the cloud. It’s as easy as dragging them into a file on your desktop, and voila, they’re stored. If you don’t have access to a scanner through your workplace, take your documents to your local UPS-Kinko Store where they can do it for a slight charge.
This is the kind of thing you should do while this disaster is still fresh in our minds and hitting the local news channels. PG&E has pipelines all over the bay area and one may be near your home. Don’t let this disaster happen again and you be the family who loses everything including birth certificates, copies of your passports, marriage and death certificates, etc. While you’re at it, make a photo journal of your home and its contents and store them in the cloud, too. It’s better to be safe than sorry. After all, the Boy Scout’s motto, Be Prepared, certainly has meaning in times of disaster.