Preparing your documents, photos, videos & other valuables for a potential disaster

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Many of us don’t think we’ll be impacted by a disaster of any kind, until it happens to us. This could be the result of a flood, hurricane, tornado, fires, or even a plumbing leak. Depending on where you leave, your preparation and storage needs may differ.


  • Safety first! The first priority is of course your safety!! Your local city government and news are excellent resources. Nationally, and FEMA to help you become more informed.
  • Emergency Kit: And, I hope you have an emergency kit in place. You can find information on how to put one together at

Personal Possessions

Sample fire & water proof bag – Amazon

Now for your possessions such as family heirlooms, photos, videos and other items. I’ll separate physical from digital items.

Important Documents

Make sure you have on hand the following items and take them with you in case you have to evacuate. Drivers License, birth certificates, passports, deeds to home & auto, insurance policies, any other legal documents.

Physical Possessions

Photos, videos, albums and other important documents that you have not digitized yet. Get them at least to one area of your home. If facing a tornado, do not put them upstairs or in an attic. However, if you’re facing a flood, don’t keep them downstairs. But if you have only one story, get them as high up in a closet as you can. This helps to minimize how far your items are spread out.

If you have time, put them in plastic tubs, zip lock bags, trash bags, whatever you can. It is by no means a permanent solution but it will help minimize the damage.

Digital Possessions

If you’ve been able to start scanning your items, great!!! I hope you’re backing them up. If not, don’t start right now if you’re having to evacuate. It’ll take days the first time. Now, if you have flash drives, external hard drives, CDs, etc. gather them up in one place.

If you have time to purchase a padded case from Amazon or another source, do it. Otherwise, get a Rubbermaid container or another leak-proof container. Hopefully, something that does not generate electricity.