Are you prepared for a disaster?

Posted by in Tech

Are you prepared for a disaster?

Its not IF a disaster strikes its WHEN. Remember that electronic equipment is nothing more that dirt, oil, electricity, and bunch of human ingenuity. What could possibly go wrong? Disasters are not limited to computers they can happen anywhere or to anything.

Any of these things could go wrong, and will go wrong quicker that you think:

  • Water; Flood, fire sprinkler, or spilling Starbucks.
  • Fire; House or office burning down or just letting the smoke out if your equipment (that means it burned up.)
  • Theft; Physical or digital theft.
  • Stupidity; Pressing delete or formatting the wrong drive.
  • Loss of Power; Snow storms don’t care about your deadlines.
  • Damage; Did you just drop something?
  • Friends; “Who was it that I lent that lens too?”
  • Death; Charge your batteries.
  • Stranded; The car won’t start.

Any one of these things will cause pain at some point in your photographic life. Make sure you have back ups, and make sure the back ups have off site backups. Create a workflow that works for you, make sure your workflow has backup in mind, and stick to your workflow.

Personally, I rely on two storage mediums for backup to keep my digital assets safe; DVDs and off-site hard drives. I use DVDs because they are cheap and read only. You can’t delete anything from a DVDs. I place every RAW file directly from the memory card to DVD then after the job is done I burn the completed files to DVD. I use WD passports as my off-site backup, they are so small that they can be placed in a deposit box or placed at a trusted location. Try to pick a location that you can get to during your work hours. If you can’t get to your data when you need your data, what good is it?

Have a backup computer plan, how would you meet that deadline with a dead computer? Backing up data is a no-brainer thing to do, but having a backup computer takes some planing. You need to make sure your backup computer is ready with the software and hardware devices you need. When that friend asks if he can borrow your computer because his died, think “will I ever need to ask him that?”

Backup camera equipment is also a must have. If you are being paid to take photos, make darn sure you can take photos. If you are the type that doesn’t handle the pressure of equipment failure, make sure you have the same equipment for backup so the operation of the tool is the same under pressure. Make sure that the setting on all like equipment is the same, you don’t need the stress of having to fiddle around with the same camera that does not have the same configuration.

Know where you can get anything you need when you need it. Where would you get a replacement laptop, camera, lens, battery or data? That AA battery holder for your battery grip will not do you any good at home.

Only after you have experience a disaster will you truly know if you are ready, but it doesn’t hurt to be as prepared as possible.

What do you do to stay prepared that I haven’t mentioned?

Bill Debevc