A friend of mine sent this email out to her mailing list. I’m posting it without edits because I think the information is great! Glad to know there are so many out there who are not only prepping for themselves, but trying to help encourage their neighbors. What a great idea for those who are new to the area.
if you’re new to Houston, there are things you might like to begin thinking about now on hurricane preparedness for your precious family history documents / photos, etc.!
in an apartment, planning may be different than for a house – and frame house dwellers may need some different planning than folks in brick houses … but fortunately, there’s usually some “lead time” before a storm makes landfall. you may get a couple of days to prepare – but you shouldn’t COUNT on that (nor should you count on being able to buy items in the store to DO preparing, once a warning has been issued – things can sell out fast).
houston is mostly sandy and water generally seeps down or runs off quickly — UNLESS it comes in a hurricane, at which time it can arrive in such heavy/lengthy downpours or steady/horizontal rains as to cause destruction and flooding most anywhere.
so, especially during storm seasons, you probably shouldn’t routinely store one-of-a-kind photographs or original/important documents near areas that could be breached by heavy winds and rain:
– near a door or window (possible problems if glass or hinges break)
– on the floor (possible flooding)
– near roof eaves, or in an attic (possible structural damage)
– in closets with sprinkler systems (possible accidental activation during emergencies)
in an apartment, it can even cause a problem if docs/pix are stored near an outer room wall — under eaves or between the slab and flooring are high-risk areas for water damage, and in worst case scenarios, a lot of exterior wall damage can occur. so keeping treasured items in an interior room wherever possible – and up off the floor – is often safer.
and while it’s not good for them to be KEPT in plastic – if a hurricane has been predicted, stowing photos in large stearlite or rubbermaid plastic tubs, along with a few silica gel packs, could offer some extra damage protection against rain/moisture. there have been instances when after a storm passed the power was out for a lengthy time period (for days or even weeks), and in those cases very hot, humid conditions can develop. during such times, even photos that seem secure in plastic tubs may be damaged by condensation, unnoticed leakage, etc. if you have large plastic bags (gallon size ziploc bags or zippered pouches for bedspreads/quilts), you can stuff those with photos and THEN put them in the tubs.
if your old photos haven’t yet been committed to online photo albums, you might also think about keeping negatives SEPARATE from photos. If you have a bank safe deposit box (or water resistant in-wall home safe), one of those might be a good choice for storing negatives. Then if you lost photos you’d still have negatives, or vice versa!