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.”
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.
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 1.3 million people through it. All it takes is a few simple steps with a few 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.
That’s what we’re working so hard to prevent.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!
Back It Up
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. But grabbing piles of photo albums and all your picture frames off the walls is pretty hard to do when you’re running out the door! With Back It Up, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, music (including vinyl & cassettes) and save them in multiple, disaster proof locations. Paperback Or Instant Download
Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog
Keep Everything You Love Safe, 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. Paperback Or Instant Download
Keep The Stuff You Love Safe