As many of my readers are in Florida with Irma approaching, here is some evergreen advice to protect your photos in the event of an evacuation.

First, whether you’re evacuating or not back up your computer, external hard drives, and photos on your phone. Backblaze is my backup of choice. I can’t think of a better use for their free trial than to back up your data now.

If you’re evacuating, do you have space to bring your photos with you? If so, bring them along with any devices that may have photos on them.

If you’re not evacuating, or don’t have space to bring your photos with you, do a sweep through your house to find as many of the photos as you can. If they’re in an attic and accessible, bring them into the main house. Attics are vulnerable to roof damage. Bring them in from garages or sheds. Don’t forget about the framed photos you have hanging on your walls or displayed on shelves.

If you have heavy plastic garbage bags, place the photos inside of these and seal them with duct tape. Consider double bagging the photos if you feel necessary. You may opt to place the bagged photos inside of plastic bins if you like. Remember bins are not water tight, so the extra step bagging your photos can make a difference in their safety. Label the bags and bins if you have time.

Think of the highest place in your home (that is not an attic). The top shelves of closets with interior walls, for instance, or a bathroom with no windows. The goal is to protect from possible water damage from both flood or broken windows so high and central in the home is where you want your photos to be.

Though the bag and bin method is adequate for emergency preparations, you don’t want to leave your photos in plastic long term. As soon as it is safe to remove them from the plastic, do so.

Whether you’re evacuating or hunkering down, be safe.