Preparing for Hurricane Florence: How to Protect Your Irreplaceable Photos, Business Files and Other Data

By Mike Cobb, Director of Engineering

The Carolinas are expecting to get hit by Hurricane Florence tomorrow. If you are located in the path of this massive storm, we hope that you, your family and co-workers are safe.

Here are some last minute preventative measures individuals and businesses can take to protect family photos, tax documents, accounting database files, sensitive customer information and any other irreplaceable data.

Preparing for a Storm

Safe Keeping

If flooding is expected, move any data-bearing equipment to the highest, driest level of your home or building. Secure electronic devices in plastic bags or watertight containers. Keep devices off the floor to prevent water damage from light flooding.

Unplug or Use a UPS

All hardware such as desktop computers, laptops, printers, scanners and smartphones should be unplugged from power sources to protect them from damaging power spikes and surges.

When unplugging isn’t an option, a high-quality surge protector or uninterruptible power supply (UPS) should be used. Be sure to test these devices regularly in order to maintain optimal effectiveness.

Back Up, Back Up, Back Up!

Invest in an external drive or a cloud backup service like Backblaze and remember to back up regularly. This is especially important if you reside in a storm-prone region.

Backing up can help prevent data loss even if a device is beyond repair, especially redundant backups, in which the same data is stored in different locations­—one working copy on the device that you use, one backup copy on a local device such as an external hard drive and one backup stored in the cloud or other networked device.

Storm or no storm, it’s smart to invest in multiple data backup solutions and remember to back up regularly.

Find out what backup options might be best for you and learn the 3, 2, 1 Rule.

After the Storm

Never attempt to turn on a device that is wet or physically damaged.

If you believe your device is damaged, contact a professional data recovery company right away.

How to Handle Your Wet Device

Sometimes, no matter how well you prepare, damage is inevitable. If you need to choose between your own safety and rescuing a device from damage, always choose your own well being. Your data can be saved. We can help.

Put water-damaged devices in a Ziploc bag and ship them to DriveSavers for proper handling. If a drive has already been dried off, do not put any extra water in the bag.

If the wet device is battery-powered, such as a laptop or smartphone, and it is possible to remove the batteries, do so before shipping. Whatever charge is left in the battery may speed corrosion inside the device.

What NOT to Do

Never attempt to dry out and use a wet computer, phone or other electronic device.

Do not attempt recovery of water-damaged equipment using software programs. They are ineffective in these cases and could even make matters worse.

Do not put your device into a drying agent like rice or, even worse, cat litter.

Find out what happens inside a smartphone when it gets wet and why putting it in rice is a bad idea.

Call DriveSavers

DriveSavers has a long history of helping disaster victims retrieve data from waterlogged hard drives, smartphones and other data storage devices. We also routinely recover data after fires, mechanical damage, malware and just about any other type of failure.

Anyone with questions about data recovery should call DriveSavers at 800.440.1904. We’re available 7 days per week. We offer free evaluations and free shipping.

Read more:

Disaster Preparedness Data Safety Tips

What Happens When a Smartphone Gets Wet

Video: DriveSavers Hurricane Harvey and Irma Data Recovery

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