Captured Memories Photography

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Port St Lucie, Treasure Coast, Vero to Miami, Florida, United States

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hurricane Preparation Tips from your Photographer

Ahhh Florida, home to beautiful beaches, flip flops and tank tops year round, destination weddings, anddddd hurricanes.  I'm a true Floridian so I grew up during the 1992 Hurricane Andrew disaster plus the 2004 multiple hurricane craziness.  My hubby and I actually got married during that mess, but that's a whole other story.  Most Florida dwellers know your regular hurricane preparation tips, but as a photographer there are a few other tips I recommend when preparing for a hurricane.  Preserve your memories! 

Make sure you have backups of your memories.  That's one very important rule photographers live by.  Your computer should not be the only place where you store your digital photos.  It's a really great idea to have at least one external hard drive where you store a backup of your images.  Keep that external hard drive unplugged when not in use and stored somewhere safe, like a special weather tight container or security safe (there are different levels of protection, some fire safe, some water safe).  I have a special plastic container I purchased from The Container Store that says it's weather proof.  As a photographer I always keep backups of my clients' memories.  I have a variety of external hard drives, all labeled and divided by theme (a separate hard drive for weddings, families, couples, events).  I place them in my safe during a hurricane.  If there are some memories that are extra special, such as your wedding day, you may want to keep even a third copy of them in another place, such as a parents home or at your work place. 
Where's your wedding album?  Of course you want to show off that amazing heirloom, but during a hurricane you would want to keep it safe.  Don't leave it left out or put away on a shelf close to a window.  It's best to put it away in its box and stored in a weather tight container or security safe.  Other items you might want to keep safe and locked away are your passports, marriage license and any other important documents that would be a total pain in the butt to replace if they got ruined.  Just don't forget after the hurricane to bring your beautiful wedding album back out on display.

Other important heirloom prints, from special moments, past portrait sessions, old prints from your childhood, your parents childhood and even your grandparents childhood are so valuable, so if possible it's a great idea to scan those prints so you have a digital copy just in case the physical prints get ruined (and then keep a backup copy).  You could also store those albums in your weather tight containers.  My grandmother was a bit of a photographer and took tons of photos.  I just love looking through old photos of her as a cute little teenager.  She's gone now and her photos are priceless.  I would never want all of her memories ruined, so my father and I have scanned many of her prints and have her albums saved on a special shelf.
Another "item" close to my heart that you want to protect during a hurricane are your pets.  We often remember to have an extra supply of water and non perishable food for us, but don't forget about your fur babies.  Make sure you have enough food for them to last at least a week, as well as extra containers of water for them to drink.  I fill up a few extra gallon jugs and water pitchers designated just for my fur babies.  Also if any of them are on medication, you want to make sure you have enough for them as well as all people in your household to last at least a week. 

In disasters the worse could occur and you could lose your pets.  So make sure your dogs have their ID tags on their collars, with your phone number and/or address listed on them.  It's also a great idea to have all of your pets micro chipped.  I currently have all 6 of my fur babies micro chipped.  That's really important for cats since most of us do not put collars and ID tags on them.
So those are a few extra tips from your photographer that I wanted to share.  Of course don't forget the other normal hurricane preparation items like candles and lighters/matches, batteries, water, non perishable food items, fans run by batteries, generators, etc (and for some maybe a 6 pack of beer or a few bottles of wine lol).  You also want to make sure you fill your vehicles up with gas and have some cash saved somewhere in case certain places have their electricity down and only accept cash.  Oh one more tip, make sure to pay your bills ahead of time.  If you don't have electricity or are unable to get online, you can rack up a bunch of late fees.  And nobody wants that.

I hope everyone stays safe during hurricane season.  Remember to keep your loved ones close.  And keep those memories safe!

Here's a photo of my other grandma and grandpa.  I just love this.

You can find some weather tight containers here:

Find more pet photos on my website here:

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