The Importance Of A Reliable Plan

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How To Back Up Your Parent’s Print Photos

How To Back Up Your Parent’s Printed Photos 

I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of earthquakes — like the quakes in Ecuador and Japan — is the look on victim’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find a photo of their wedding or of their children.  
In today’s world, now that we have cell phones, taking photos has become almost a daily event.  If one gets harmed or destroyed, we just print out another copy.  Not true though for old family photos that are hanging on the wall, or worse, stuck like glue inside a yellowed photo album.  
And where will you find most of those old photos?  At your parent’s and grandparent’s house — where unfortunately one-of-a-kind can mean just that.  One copy and that’s it! What a horrible thing it would be for them or for you to be left without the pictures you treasure the most, especially when keeping them safe and sound is so easy.
So give this post a quick read, grab the tools you need for the job and let’s get Mom and Dad’s photos squared away once and for all!
As you know, there are two types of photos.  The first are photo prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer.  In order to archive those photos, you’ll need to scan them and get them into a digital format so that they can be put on a computer or portable hard drive.  That’s what we’ll be dealing with in this chapter.  The second type of photo is a digital photo – which we help you back up and archive in another post.  
One thing that makes print photos harder to archive than other keepsakes is the simple fact that we get so used to seeing our favorite photos hanging around the house, that we don’t always think to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
So your first task is to locate all of your parent’s physical photos.  Don’t forget to look for all the albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on the bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.  After that, we’ll get them scanned.  
If there are a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Do you have kids?  That’s even better – they’ll have a great time helping.
1. Grab a pencil and paper, and go around the house jotting down all the non-digital photos or photo collections you want to secure and their current location.
2. Gather all of the photos that you located. Although all of your photos are important, some mean more to your parents than others.
Take a few moments to look at the photo albums, prints and framed photos and separate them into two different piles.
  • In the first pile, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
  • In the second pile, place photos that you:
    • Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
    • Have numerous other copies of the photo in other locations. Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
    • Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
  • You can go ahead and put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.
3. Scan Away!
Take the photos in the first pile, scan each one and download it to your computer, placing them in a brand new folder. When you’re finished, make one copy of that complete folder.  Place the original folder in with the other digital photos on your computer.  Then place the copy of the folder into the backup folder you created earlier.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save these scanned photos to a new folder within your photos folder.  For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance which photos are the ones you scanned.
4. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least Three Locations
Once you have finished scanning, copy that folder containing all of your photos — the digital ones and the ones you just scanned and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.   Place a copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
•In a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
•You can also save an extra copy of your photos on Flickr or another internet photo service.  But this really shouldn’t be your long-term solution or only solution, since you have no control over these sites and could lose all of your data without any warning.
•If you really want to keep photos on a secure site that you can share with your family, try iMemories.com.  Not only do they have great servers with outstanding redundant backup capability, but they can even put your photos on DVD for you, providing an extra layer of safety.
If you need more help scanning your photos — or if you have delicate or color challenged photos that need a bit more attention, here are a few tips.
How To Scan Your Photos
There are several great ways to scan your photos.  Just to clarify, a scanner is different than a copy machine, because a scanner makes an exact digital copy of a photo.  It’s a world of difference from a photo copy, which is usually pretty bad.  In many cases a scan of a photo is better than the original.  And the nice thing about them is that once you scan a photo, you can save it onto your computer, share it with family and friends or use photo software to correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
Most printers available now are three or four in one printers, that scan as well as print.  You can also scan your photos with a dedicated flatbed scanner (all it does is scan).
Or you can scan your photos with a portable wand scanner, as we mentioned earlier.  Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer, via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to take all of those documents home and putting them, one at a time, through your scanner.  It’s especially good, like we said, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If they don’t want the photo leaving the house, just take the scanner over and scan the photos you want.   Amazingly, if you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame.  Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page.  Then all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
One other scanner we wanted to mention is one that stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction. It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software.   There are several models on Amazon.com.  Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess?   All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos.  The scanner corrects the color while it scans.  Truly amazing!  
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you.  Scanning is by far the cheapest and most effective way of safeguarding your important photos.  If you can’t get them scanned, go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s and have copies made of all your photos, using non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve.  The higher the dpi the better the quality, so use 300 or 600 on your oldest, most treasured photos.  Then save the scans to your computer to back them up.
Fixing Faded or Damaged Old Photos
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed and see if you can edit them to get them into better shape.  
A lot of people run right for their favorite photo software programs — like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Adobe is definitely one of the best and we’ve used it on our own photos with great results.  But the problem is, there are so many tools within it to fix your photos, that it can be a little difficult, not to mention daunting, to use.   One day, Mom and I had had it, trying to get the results we wanted on some of our pictures that needed a lot of color correction.  So we began to look for a way to get the correction we wanted in the same few steps (and I mean FEW), whether the pictures were simply faded or way out of whack.
I’m happy to say we found it.  Or rather created it!  We found five steps that work to color correct nearly any photo of any age, using Photoshop Elements and put them into our book Photo Finish.  It’s downloadable for a limited time.  Below is one of the photos that we edited using those five steps. That’s me at Disneyland when I was about four.  If you have a lot of pictures from the fifties to the eighties that have turned strange shades, download a free copy of our book.  
No matter what method you use to scan and back up your parent’s or grandparent’s old photos, the beaming grins on their faces will tell you exactly how much this — and you — mean to them!
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If you’d like a copy of the instructions in this post, click here to download the PDF Version to your computer.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

Help Your Friends & Family Prepare for Hurricane & Tornado Season

Question.

If you could keep your friends and neighbors from losing the things they love most in the next hurricane or tornado, would you do it?   
Well the good news is, now you can.  And it only takes the click of a mouse.  
Here’s how.
Now that hurricane season and tornado season are here, I started thinking about the news coverage of Hurricane Sandy.
There was this one woman that I’ll never forget. Her name was Phyllis.
She was talking to a reporter outside of what was left of her Staten Island home, when she saw a large, yellowed piece of paper lying across the yard. Phyllis grabbed it, clutched it to her chest and began sobbing. It was her mother’s wedding photo, the only copy she had, now mud-soaked and disintegrating in her hands.
The worst part is, the pain she felt over that destroyed photo was absolutely preventable.
We’ve been through more than a few disasters ourselves, including an earthquake and an airplane crashing into our neighborhood. In fact that’s the reason we wrote “Get Your Stuff Together”.
But the other day when I thought about Phyllis, I knew I had to do something more.  Something else that will keep people from having to experience that kind of pain.
Not just one family at a time, but hundreds.
So here’s the plan. There’s something we can all do, right now, to prevent pain with just one click.
We just negotiated a special discount on “Get Your Stuff Together” for everyone who wants to buy 10 or more copies of the book. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for your church, your business, your Air Force base, your kid’s school, service organization or your Little League team.
Just let us know how many copies your group, company or organization wants, and we’ll get the books to you ASAP.   Are you ready, because here comes the link you need to click to make it all happen.
Click here https://www.createspace.com/3823528 to order your copies directly from our publisher’s website.  Just make sure you enter coupon code: BWXNWPZ7 to get your discount. 
Or if you want us to order them for you,  email us at webmaster1 at nokep.org, let us know how many copies you want, and we’ll take it from there.
So what do you think? Are you ready to help the families in your community stay safer this hurricane and tornado season?
All it takes is One Click.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…

blogendsignature

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Have Your Medical History At Your Fingertips
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan

If you and your family had to evacuate your home because of a tornado, an earthquake or wildfire, where would you go? 

There’s a lot to consider.   “Location A is close enough to home to check on the house if we had to, but what if the entire city is affected?   But if we went to Location B, how would I ever get to work?”
Is your head hurting yet?
Not to worry.  A –  That’s exactly why we want you to go through this exercise now and not when a firefighter is knocking at the door. And B –  That’s also why we suggest that you choose three locations and opt for the one that fits your needs if an emergency ever rears its ugly head.
A great Evacuation Plan has two objectives:  
1) To figure out the best location for your evacuation
2) To help you gather your family and get you safely to your location
First we’ll walk you through choosing your locations and sketching out a plan.  Once the plans are set, put the details on your family’s emergency wallet cards.    If you want, you can also give a card to the person you chose to be your out-of-area contact.  And if you don’t have emergency wallet cards, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
How To Choose The Perfect Locations
Location One:  A location Near Your Home, that you can use if you cannot stay in your home, but the area around it is still safe and secure.
Location Two:  A location Outside of Your Immediate Area, that you can use if you cannot stay in your area, but the cities around you are still safe and secure.
Location Three:  A location Out of State, if your own state is uninhabitable.
With three locations you’ll be prepared no matter what the emergency.  You’ll just go down your list, choose the location you need, and be on your way.  You and the members of your immediate family will know where to gather and what to do, even if everyone is away from home in the middle of a busy day.
If you’d like to have a copy of these directions for later, download the PDF Version of How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan.
How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com
How To Choose A Great Location
Before you try to zero in on a perfect location, come up with as many different locations as you can that you and your family would be able to use for evacuation.
As you consider each location, think about:
  • The needs of the people traveling with you
  • How you’ll get there (car, bus, plane)
  • Any pets that will be traveling with you
Does It Have What You Need?
Once you’re pretty certain you have the right places, consider whether this location has what you and your family would actually need.
  • For instance if would need to stay in that location for two or three weeks, would it be close enough to the stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors?
  • Would you be able to get to work from that location, or are you able to work from home?
  • Does it have the furniture and supplies necessary for two or three weeks?
We Have A Winner!  Make That Three Winners!
No location is perfect, so if you came up with one or two things your location would be lacking, be sure to note them on your Family Evacuation Plan, so that you can take care of it before you  get there.
The Staging Area
Now that you’ve chosen your locations, choose two places for you and your family to gather during an emergency, so that you can travel to your evacuation location together.  One place should be near your home or work and the other farther from your home in case your area is completely inaccessible.
Put the addresses and phone numbers of these two meeting places on your family’s emergency cards.
Appoint An Out Of Town Contact
It’s also a good idea to appoint an out of town contact to help you while your family deals with the aftermath of an emergency.
Even though you might not be able to call people right in your own area after an emergency, you can often call long distance.  A distant friend can be a touch point for the entire family until communication is restored.
Once you choose an out of town relative or friend as a contact, check with them to make sure that they’re willing to help.  If so, give them a copy of your emergency plan and wallet card, so they’ll be able to help, if the need ever arises.
Creating Your Plan
Grab a copy of our Family Evacuation Plan, or if you have our book Get Your Stuff Together, you’ll find a copy in the back of the book.  Here are a few questions to answer before you draft your plan:
  • Who Is Evacuating With You?
  • Who Will Do What?
  • Temporary Housing
  • Transportation Plans/Travel Information
  • Pet Information
  • Out of State and Local Contacts
  • Contact Information For Everyone Who Will Be Evacuating With You As Well As Your Out of Town Contact.
    • Their cell phone/school/office numbers
    • Email addresses
    • Twitter and Facebook account names.
    • Any other information that can put you in immediate touch with them, even if one or two modes of communication are down.
Making Your Plan Easy To Access
Review the plans with your spouse and adult family members.  Once they’re set, put that information on your family’s emergency wallet cards.  If you don’t already have your own, click the link to download ours.   It might be a good idea to give a card to the person you chose to be your out of area contact, too.
And while you’re at it, store a copy in your family’s cell phones as well, in case an emergency occurs while you’re away from home.
Print, scan or make three copies of the Evacuation Plan, and store it in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.
If your Plan is on paper, you can place it:
  • In your watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin.  Only place the documents that you actually need in this bin.  If you’ll also have access to copies of your vital documents in your safe deposit box, then don’t take anything with you that you would worry about if it were lost.
  • In a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • With your emergency contacts or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
If your Plan is on computer, you can place it:
  • On a password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your evacuation bin.
  • On a password-protected online file repository or even the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way if you need a copy of your information or forms quickly, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
  • Save a link to the Plan on you and your family’s smartphones, so that you can all instantly access and use the plan whenever you need it.
Anything Else To Add?
Is there any other information you need, to deal with a medical emergency while evacuated or away from home?  If so, scan or make copies of that information and place it in the same folder as your completed medical history forms.
If you need help creating Medical History Forms for your family, take a look at our blog post or download a copy of our How-To Sheet.
And if you’d like a copy of these instructions for later, click here to download the PDF Version.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

Introducing… Connected

Purchase Connected @ Amazon.com

 

More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

_________________________________________________

Connected | The Book Inspired By The Blog.

Connected | Saving Lives & Connecting Families One Smartphone @ A Time. rnn10.wordpress.com

What if I told you, there was one thing that you own and probably have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! Introducing Connected, an easy to read, easy to use guide that gives you everything you need to turn your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Purchase Connected @ Amazon.com

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

As we found out the hard way, some hospitals don’t make calling your next of kin their priority. 

Here’s what to do to keep YOUR family safe.

When a patient is brought in the emergency room unconscious, aside from obvious injuries, the doctors caring for him basically have no information about their patient.  They have no idea what he might be allergic to, what medications he’s taking or the surgery he had the month before. Elaine Sullivan was an active seventy-one year old living on her own in Chicago.  One day while getting ready to take a bath, she slipped and fell, striking her head and mouth on the side of the tub.  Her neighbors realized they hadn’t seen her all day and called the paramedics, who went in and found her, conscious, but unable to speak.
Elaine had previously been a patient at the hospital she was taken to, she had private insurance, Medicare and everything she needed.  Or so she thought.  Even though she was stable, injuries to her mouth made her unable to speak or swallow, so she was unable to speak for herself.  Over the next few days, after a series of serious medical errors and a critical drug interaction, her condition worsened.

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

Elaine Sullivan was my grandma.  Despite the fact that the hospital had my mother’s and my contact information for our home in Los Angeles, the hospital neglected to call us for 6 1/2 days.  By the time they did, Grandma was in critical condition from a lack of the most basic care.  By the time we found out she’d been hospitalized, we were unable to get to her bedside before she died, unnecessarily and alone.
As we found out the hard way, some hospitals don’t make calling your next of kin their priority.
Even though most hospitals try to find an unconscious patient’s emergency contacts and notify their families in a reasonable amount of time, hospitals can sometimes become so busy or are so understaffed that they don’t make that call as quickly as they should.
We later found that one of the main factors that caused Grandma’s death was the fact that the doctors treating her didn’t have her medical or prescription drug history at their fingertips.
But the lesson we want to point out is, how critical communicating a person’s vital medical information can be.
And recent natural disasters and terrorist attacks have only amplified the need to get a trauma victim’s identification, medical history and emergency contact information to the physician treating him as quickly as humanly possible.

Your Emergency Medical Information 

There’s nothing worse than having something on the tip of your tongue and not being able to remember it – except when the word you’re trying to remember is the name of a medication that the emergency room physician needs to save your daughter’s life.
Emergencies can rattle the best of us, and the phone number or facts you know by heart are the very ones that will elude you when you need them most!
You just can’t leave information that important up to your memory.  Let’s get it down on paper, where it belongs!

Take Action! 

1. What Information Am I Going To Need?

Grab a pencil and paper and jot down the types of medical information you have for each member of the family.
This includes your family’s medical history, medical information, names of everyone’s physicians, specialists, dentists, optometrists and other health care providers and current and past prescriptions.

2. The Most Important Things Are…

Close your eyes for a moment & imagine that you’re sitting in the ER with everyone in your house.  One by one, imagine that your spouse, each child or your parent has an injury, like a broken arm, or needs emergency surgery.   The doctor – someone who doesn’t know you or your family’s unique medical or emotional needs – walks through the door.
What does this doctor need to know about them?   Jot down all of the things that just went through your mind.  Old injuries, allergies, surgeries, anything you think is important.

3. Locate and Gather All The Information You Have

Using those notes and the list you completed in Step 1, locate and gather all of the medical information you have at home, along with your address book or contact information for physicians and the people you’ll be using for emergency contacts.

4. Create Your Medical Information Forms

Grab a copy of our Medical History Form, or if you have our newest book slash program Ready, there’s a copy in the back of the book.  Create one for each adult and child in your family, adding all of the information you’ve located.

5. Choosing Your Emergency Contacts

Choose and name at least 3 emergency contacts for each person, including yourself.
  • Main Emergency Contact:  If you are married, include your spouse on your form and yourself on your spouse’s form.  For your children, this would be you and your spouse.
  • 2nd Contact: should be a nearby relative or good friend who you would trust enough to make informed choices on your behalf, if necessary.
  • 3rd Contact: should be an out of town/out of state relative or friend.

6. Anything Else To Add?

Is there any other information you need, to deal with a medical emergency while evacuated or away from home?  If so, scan or make copies of that information and place it in the same folder as your completed medical history forms.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to put ICE (In Case Of Emergency) Contacts in your and your family’s smartphones along with a copy or link to your medical history forms.  That way if you ever need quick access to a family member’s medical history you’ll have it right at your fingertips.  Need instructions on ICE Contacts?  Click here to read the blog post.

7. Now For Safekeeping…

Print, scan or make three copies of the form you just completed, along with the documents or other materials you need and store them in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.
If you’ve decided to print out your forms and medical documents on paper, you can place them:
  • In a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • In your watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin.  Only place the documents that you actually need in this bin.  If you’ll also have access to copies of your vital documents in your safe deposit box, then don’t take anything with you that you would worry about if it were lost.
  • With your emergency contacts or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
  • In your file cabinet at work/office.  If your spouse, child or relative is injured while you’re at work, you can grab the medical information from your files and take it to the emergency room.
If your forms and medical documents are on your computer, you can:
  • Save the forms to your smartphone so that if a member of your family is ever rushed to the emergency room, you can send the form directly to the emergency physician, so that they’ll have a medical history immediately, before you even arrive at the hospital.
  • Place the forms and documents on a password-protected online file repository or even the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way if you need a copy of your information or forms quickly, you can retrieve them from any computer or send a link to the forms to the hospital, from your iPhone or smartphone.
  • Save them to a password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your evacuation bin.
  • Place the password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • Place the password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.comIf you’d like to download a copy of How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips, click here.  One important note:  DO NOT put your or your family’s social security numbers in your list of vital information or in online files or folders, no matter how secure they are.  If you have to have those numbers with you (and haven’t memorized them), copy or scan the originals and place them in a secure safe deposit box instead.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
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Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

Keep The People You Love Safe

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips
How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan
How To Fill Out Your Child’s Emergency Contact Card

How To Set Up Your ICE Contacts

How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Samsung Galaxy Phone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Android Smartphone
How To Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On The iPhone 6
How to put an ICE Contact on your Samsung Galaxy Lock Screen
Can I Put An ICE Contact On A Password Protected iPhone?
Cómo Colocar Un En Caso de Contacto de Emergencia En Su Teléfono Celular
Why Are ICE Contacts So Important?
Create An ICE Contact In 2 Minutes
The Two Things You should NEVER put in your ICE Contact
Don’t Carry A Wallet? Here are 20 Places To Put Your Emergency Wallet Card

How To Get Ready For…

How To Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom
How To Get Ready For A Tornado
How To Get Ready For A Tsunami
The Best Apps For Tornado Season
How To Get Ready For A Hurricane
How To Get Ready For A Wildfire
How to Get Ready For A Flood
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake

Why Is Hurricane Sandy Different Than Other Storms?

Why Is Hurricane Sandy Different Than Other Storms? | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

Hurricane Sandy touched people.

It wasn’t worse than Hurricane Katrina, more costly than the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami or more deadly than Haiti.
It was just different.  And that difference affected us.
It was so easy to say that the neighborhoods Katrina affected weren’t built as well as other areas.  Or that the people didn’t have enough money to get out of the storm’s path and ended up being victims of the system they thought would protect them.  And with Japan, well low-lying islands + the threat of tsunamis + the nuclear power plants that spanned those islands spells disaster in any language.
But Hurricane Sandy hit neighborhoods that we all recognized.  Regular houses, safe for decades, most of them far enough away from the water not even to be considered beach adjacent, let alone beach front — now lying blocks away from their foundations.
People just like the parents and grandparents everyone has or grew up knowing — now picking through the rubble for whatever remains of their beloved photos and keepsakes.
The woman we saw standing in the rubble of her home on MSNBC (video above) says it all.  That pile of sticks and mud and wood is what’s left of her life.  She and her husband struggled to work and save and raise their family and retire.  And they made it!  They achieved everything they had worked so hard for.  And then, in just a few hours, their dream was gone along with their home and their future.
Hurricane Sandy was different.
It’s was the Jersey Shore of MTV.  It was Archie Bunker’s Queens.  It was the Staten Island of a thousand tv shows and movies.  It was America.  And it was our friends and neighbors.  It was Everyman and Everywoman.
When Mom and I saw the expression of the woman in the video clip above on MSNBC,  we just looked at each other.  We said almost in unison, “That’s it.  That’s what we’re fighting against.  That’s what we’re trying to prevent.”
Loss.
Not just the loss of data when a computer decides not to turn on.  Not just monetary loss, when someone doesn’t have access to the account number they need to get cash when they’re evacuating.  That’s important, don’t get me wrong.  And those are things every one of us can and needs to prevent.
But we’re talking about real loss.  Head turning, stomach churning loss.  The loss of things people love.  The loss of things that make their lives unique and special and lovely.  The things that make their lives, theirs.  The photos of their wedding.  The home movies of their child walking for the first time.  The music that played during their junior prom or that they danced to on their tenth anniversary.
Loss.
Every one of those keepsakes, are things that can be backed up, archived, scanned and protected, quite easily.  All people have to do is decide what things in their life are unique and special and important to them, then back them up and place those archives in at least three different locations.  If one location is damaged or destroyed, they still have their stuff in the other location.
That’s all there is to it.  Yes it might take them an afternoon or two.  But we’ve walked thousands of people through it.  All it takes is a few simple steps with simple tools.
Loss is a horrible feeling.  It’s the feeling of someone wrenching something you love away from you and there’s nothing you can do to get it back.  It’s an awful combination of sadness and powerlessness and guilt, that no human being should have to experience.
The victims of Hurricane Sandy lost their homes and their neighborhoods and their livelihoods.    There’s nothing that they could have done to prevent that.   But those precious families didn’t have to end up without a plan of where to go and what to do next.  They didn’t have to end up without the vital information and the documents they’re going to need over the next few months to pull their lives back together.  And they didn’t have to lose the treasures and the keepsakes and the precious memories that make their lives so rich and full and special.
Loss.
That’s what we’re working so hard to prevent.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
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Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

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The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

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How To Archive Your Print Photos

How To Archive Your Printed Photos | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com. I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and the California Wildfires, is the look on victim’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find a keepsake.  Even a photo of their wedding or of their children, can mean the difference between being with or without their cherished memories.  What a horrible thing it would be to be left without the pictures you treasure the most, especially when keeping them safe and sound no matter what the disaster is so easy. 
Have you been through the family photo album lately? 
What shape are your pictures in?  Are they sparkling and colorful or faded and lifeless.  Have you taken the time to scan them so they’re backed up and secure or is the print you’re holding, the only one of its kind?
One thing that makes photos harder to archive than other keepsakes is the simple fact that we get so used to seeing our favorite photos hanging around the house, that we don’t always think to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
The good news is that with the advent of portable wand scanners, you can see your favorite family photos any time you want.  The bad news is, you may have to peel them out of Aunt Sadie’s clutches to use it!  
But, not to worry.  We have some fabulous tips and tools that will give you access to all of your favorite pictures and get them easily and painlessly archived for all the members of your family, including dear Aunt Sadie.
As you know, there are two types of photos, digital and print.  In this post we’ll be dealing with prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer.  In order to archive those photos, you’ll need to scan them and get them into a digital format so that they can be put on a computer or portable hard drive.
In a few moments we’ll ask you to locate all of your physical photos.  Don’t forget to look for all your albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.  After that, we’ll get them scanned.
If you have a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Do you have kids?  That’s even better – they’ll have a great time helping.

Take Action! 

1. Photos, Oh Photos…  Where Are You?

First, locate and gather all of your physical photos.
Don’t forget to look for all your albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.

2. Which Ones Do I Scan?

Although all of your photos are important, some mean more to you than others.  Separate your photos into two different piles.
In Pile  1, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
In Pile  2, place photos that you:
•Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
•Have numerous  copies of in other locations.  Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
•Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
You can go ahead and put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.

3. Scan Away!

Scan all of the photos in Pile 1 saving them to your computer, as you scan.  If you have a lot of photos, get the kids involved or throw a scanning party for your relatives, and let them help you scan, then give them a copy of the photos they want to take home with them.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save these scanned photos to a new folder within your photos folder.  For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance which photos are the ones you scanned.

4. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least 3 Locations

Once you have finished scanning, copy that folder containing all of your photos — the digital ones and the ones you just scanned and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.   Place a copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
•In a password-protected online file repository like OneDrive, iCloud or Dropbox, or on the file directory of your personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
•You can also save an extra copy of your photos on Flickr or another internet photo service.  But this really shouldn’t be your long-term solution or only solution, since you have no control over these sites and could lose all of your data without any warning.
•If you really want to keep photos on a secure site that you can share with your family, try iMemories.com.  Not only do they have great servers with outstanding redundant backup capability, but they can even put your photos on DVD for you, providing an extra layer of safety.
If you need more help scanning your photos — or if you have delicate or color challenged photos that need a bit more attention, here are a few tips.

How To Scan Your Photos

There are several great ways to scan your photos.  Just to clarify, a scanner is different than a copy machine, because a scanner makes an exact digital copy of a photo.  It’s a world of difference from a photo copy, which is usually pretty bad.  In many cases a scan of a photo is better than the original.  And the nice thing about them is that once you scan a photo, you can save it onto your computer, share it with family and friends or use photo software to correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
Most printers available now are three or four in one printers, that scan as well as print.  You can also scan your photos with a dedicated flatbed scanner (all it does is scan).
Or you can scan your photos with a portable wand scanner, as we mentioned earlier.  Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Magic Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer, via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to take all of those documents home and putting them, one at a time, through your scanner.  It’s especially good, like we said, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If they don’t want the photo leaving the house, just take the scanner over and scan the photos you want.   Amazingly, if you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame.  Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page.  Then all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
One other method of scanning that we wanted to mention is the Kodak Personal Scanner.  It’s a bit different than the others, because you can feed photos into it and it scans them as they pass through an inch thick scanning bed.  The interesting part is that it comes with an attachment that feeds negatives and slides into the scanner and – are you ready for this – actually makes a digital copy of the photo, just as if you had taken it to the photo processor.  We actually had some slides that someone had given us, and since we never used slides, we didn’t have the equipment to look at them.  With the Kodak Scanner, all we did was feed the slide into the scanner and suddenly we had full color, beautiful photos from the sixties, that looked like they were processed yesterday.  Absolutely amazing!
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you.  Scanning is by far the cheapest and most effective way of safeguarding your important photos.  If you can’t get them scanned, go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s and have copies made of all your photos, using non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve.  The higher the dpi the better the quality, so use 300 or 600 on your oldest, most treasured photos.  Then save the scans to your computer to back them up.
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed and see if you can edit them to get them into better shape.  
A lot of people run right for their favorite photo software programs — like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Adobe is definitely one of the best and we’ve used it on our own photos with great results. But the problem is, there are so many tools within it to fix your photos, that it can be a little difficult, not to mention daunting, to use.   One day, Mom and I had had it, trying to get the results we wanted on some of our pictures that needed a lot of color correction.  So we began to look for a way to get the correction we wanted in the same few steps (and I mean FEW), whether the pictures were simply faded or way out of whack.
I’m happy to say we found it.  Or rather created it!  We found five steps that work to color correct nearly any photo of any age, using Photoshop Elements and put them into our book Photo Finish.  It’s downloadable for a limited time.  Below is one of the photos that we edited using those five steps. That’s me at Disneyland when I was about four.  If you have a lot of pictures from the fifties to the eighties that have turned strange shades, download a free copy of our book.  
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If you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to fix your photos yourself, we’ve found one scanner that stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction. It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software.   Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess?   All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos.  The scanner corrects the color while it scans.  Truly amazing!  
If you’d like a copy of the instructions in this post, click here to download the PDF Version to your computer.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

Keep The People You Love Safe

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips
How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan
How To Fill Out Your Child’s Emergency Contact Card

How To Set Up Your ICE Contacts

How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Samsung Galaxy Phone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Android Smartphone
How To Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On The iPhone 6
How to put an ICE Contact on your Samsung Galaxy Lock Screen
Can I Put An ICE Contact On A Password Protected iPhone?
Cómo Colocar Un En Caso de Contacto de Emergencia En Su Teléfono Celular
Why Are ICE Contacts So Important?
Create An ICE Contact In 2 Minutes
The Two Things You should NEVER put in your ICE Contact
Don’t Carry A Wallet? Here are 20 Places To Put Your Emergency Wallet Card

How To Get Ready For…

How To Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom
How To Get Ready For A Tornado
How To Get Ready For A Tsunami
The Best Apps For Tornado Season
How To Get Ready For A Hurricane
How To Get Ready For A Wildfire
How to Get Ready For A Flood
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake