Do You Have an Emergency Plan for Your Photos?

Yesterday, a wildfire tore through San Diego burning more than 1000 acres of land. It's still burning as I write this, however the evacuation orders have been lifted and folks are back in their homes. Applause and kudos to the first-response teams and the local and surrounding fire departments for containing the blaze. To my knowledge, no homes have been lost and there have been no serious injuries.

Wildfires are a fact of life in Southern California, and my family has an emergency plan. The fire started about 2 miles from where I live. It didn't take long for my neighborhood to be "put on alert" for evacuation. In under 10 minutes, our life-critical items were packed, the emergency crate loaded in the car, and we were ready to bolt.

This included my critical photo equipment - a single camera body, two lenses, and my laptop. More importantly, a full backup of my main studio system. Gear can be replaced. A decade-plus of photos cannot. I had no worries about losing any photos. Time Machine backs up my studio Mac constantly. When the evac call came, I kicked off a final sync, shutdown the system, and took the backup disk with me.

In the next town over, a third copy of my photo library sits in a bank vault. I update the offsite backup every month. It's not a perfect system. I run the risk of losing a month of photos in the worst case. It's a calculated risk. And way better than losing everything.

Do you have a disaster plan for your photo library? If so, what is it? If not... you should get started on one. :)