Preserving Memories: The Importance of Photographic Preservation

On the afternoon of May 20, 2013, a large and extremely violent EF5 tornado ravaged MooreOklahoma, and adjacent areas, with peak winds estimated at 210 mph (340 km/h), killing 24 people and injuring 212 others.

Photographs hold a special place in our hearts and minds. They capture moments of joy, love, and laughter and preserve memories of people, places, and events that are important to us. But what happens when these precious photographs are lost due to fires, floods, or other disasters? The loss can be devastating, leaving us with sadness, loss, and grief.

Some common expressions and comments from people who have lost photographs due to fires and other disasters include:

“I lost all my memories.”

“I feel like a part of me is gone.”

“I wish I had taken more pictures.”

“I wish I had backed them up.”

“I’m so sad that my family’s history is gone.”

“I feel like I’ve lost a piece of my past.”

“I wish I could go back in time and save them.”

Hurricane Sandy was an extremely destructive and intense Atlantic hurricane and the largest Atlantic hurricane on record as measured by diameter, with tropical storm-force winds spanning 1,150 miles (1,850 km).

It’s important to remember that photographs are often irreplaceable, and the memories they hold are priceless. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to protect and preserve our pictures. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

  1. Back up your photographs digitally. One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your photos is to back them up on your computer or cloud-based storage service. This will ensure that you have a digital copy of your photographs in case the physical copies are lost or damaged.
  2. Keep your photographs in a fireproof safe. A fireproof safe can provide an extra layer of protection for your photographs in case of a fire. Make sure to choose a safe that is appropriately sized for your collection and certified as fireproof.
  3. Organize and label your photographs. A system for organizing and labeling your photographs can make it easier to find what you’re looking for and can also make it easier to preserve your memories.
  4. Share your photographs with others. One of the best ways to preserve your photographs is to share them with others. Share them on social media, or print them out and give them as gifts. The more people who see and enjoy your photographs, the more likely they will be preserved for future generations.
Volunteers and homeowners clean up after the Moore, Oklahoma Tornado.

In the unfortunate event of losing photographs due to fires or other disasters, it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the world. While you may feel a sense of nostalgia and longing for the memories and moments captured in the photographs, it is still possible to remember them through other means, such as by talking to people there or by trying to recreate the memories in other ways.

A strong F3 tornado (with wind speeds estimated around 175 mph) touched down 4.4 miles south of Wartburg in the Mossy Grove community, killing five people and injuring 28 on November 10, 2002.

It’s also important to remember that photographs are not the only way to preserve memories. We can also preserve memories through diaries, videos, and other forms of documentation. And even if all physical forms of memory are lost, the memories will still remain in our hearts and minds.

In conclusion, photographs play a vital role in preserving memories, and taking steps to protect and preserve them is essential. By backing up your photographs digitally, keeping them in a fireproof safe, organizing and labeling them, and sharing them with others, you can ensure that your memories will be preserved for years to come.