WICALUME-L ArchivesArchiver > WICALUME > 2004-08 > 1093016594
From: "James L. Westcot" <>
Subject: Re: WICALUME-D Digest V04 #44
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 10:43:14 -0500
On Friday, August 20, 2004, at 04:00 AM,
> WICALUME-D DigestVolume 04 : Issue 44
> Today's Topics:
> #1 Are you and your Gen. Records prep [Debie & Joe
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> From: Debie & Joe <>
> Date: Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:54:15 AM US/Central
> Subject: Are you and your Gen. Records prepared for a Disaster?
> Hi Listers,
> This has been passed to many mailing lists and if you received this
> more than once, I am sorry, but I feel it is very important to read
> and prepare in the event that tragedy would happen to you.
> After reading about the researcher's recent computer problem and the
> loss of her computerized info as well as the recent disaster in
> I would like to share an article with you that I wrote for the Augusta
> GA Gen. Society Newsletter. My home burned in January and there are a
> few things that you really need to know. If it could happen to us
> me it can happen to you.
> ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A DISASTER?
> QUESTIONS TO PONDER?
> Computer Files - When was the last time you backed up your files? Do
> have a hard copy of everything saved on your computer? Where are the
> back-up and hard copies located? .near the computer .in your car.at a
> friend's house.in a commercial safe deposit box? Are your contacts
> Photos - Have you scanned copies of your irreplaceable, photos? Are
> photo's framed behind glass or plastic? Are they matted or up against
> the viewing surface?
> Original documents and Resource Materials - Have you scanned or copied
> your original documents? Where are your originals filed? Are they in
> file folders, cardboard boxes, plastic boxes, file drawers, fireproof
> files, or a safe deposit box? Are your files all in one place or spread
> throughout your home?
> Essentially, are you prepared for a disaster and what would break you
> heart if you lost it?
> MY STORY:
> I am a safety-conscious person (almost to a fault), however, on 28
> January 2004, due to a series of unusual events, our house burned.
> Treasured items including quilts, Haviland china, art, a collection of
> Gillette memorabilia, antiques, and a library of about 1500 books were
> lost to fire, heat, smoke, and water.
> The garage's 5/8" sheetrock walls and its fireproof steel door to the
> office, which was rated for 20 minutes and held for an hour and half,
> saved the office from fire. However, smoke and carbon got in
> Four years of genealogy research (a drop in a bucket to those of you
> have been at it for 20 or 30 years) was saved but not without a price.
> The documents smell atrocious, and those that are not covered with
> will need to be photocopied. Our insurance will cover up to $1,000 to
> copy and replace. The photo's that didn't fuse to the glass or melt
> to be scanned and placed in airtight containers as you can't get the
> smell out. Published family histories and other books will be replaced
> if still available. I was planning to back up all of my computer files
> in February - something I had never done. The computer monitors melted
> but a young man was able to recover data from the hard drives. Had a
> little luck there.
> What I learned is that my organization helped in some cases and didn't
> in others. Some items stored in plastic containers didn't fair well
> because the containers melted and everything fused together. In one
> particular closet, documents stored in cardboard containers didn't burn
> because wet clothes fell and covered them. Three such containers were
> dug out of a burned, wet and smelly pile almost 2 feet deep. The
> had trouble extinguishing the fire in a 4-drawer file cabinet (not a
> fireproof model) which had holes in the back. Photo's (representing 35
> years) were stored in a 6-board heart-pine chest
> (essentially..fat-lighter) and didn't do well except for the albums
> which were wedged so tight that only the edges burned. Water, of
> dampened every page. Videos, CD's, and 8mm film are toast.
> The firemen placed a huge tarp over the files that were stored on the
> bottom shelf of an antique English Pine table in the office. This act,
> and the fact that the boxes were later removed from the house in case
> the fire started up again, saved a photo album kept by my husband's
> grandmother. Her brother (my husband's great uncle) played football at
> Notre Dame Univ. in the early 1900s. He (Charles E. "Gus" DORAIS) threw
> the first forward pass in football to the infamous Knute ROCKNE. The
> album contains pictures and signed photo's of the team. In the dark, in
> the early morning hours, I was able to find this album (my organization
> helped) and we were able to cut the album apart and lay out the pages
> dry. The images will require conservation measures because of their
> exposure to chemicals created during the fire but thankfully they
> A FEW SUGGESTIONS
> I end with a few suggestions: (1) TODAY (not tomorrow for that may be
> too late) PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOME. If you have access to a
> Video camera, describe the items in the view finder (how you obtained
> it, how much you paid for it, etc). (2) Make sure your insurance policy
> has "replacement" coverage. (3) Place your historic photo's and your
> photo and film inventory in a commercial safe deposit box. (4) Back up
> your files. Inventory your books and CD's. Create a log of contacts,
> addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, web pages, credit card
> numbers, bank account numbers, insurance policy numbers, etc. Place all
> in a safe deposit box and keep one of the keys in a separate location.
> And finally, be generous to any who suffer a disaster, the emotional
> financial costs to start over are staggering. Our Modoc, SC neighbors,
> relatives, and friends from here and afar have been great. I have taken
> the time to share my story because, if it happened to us, it can happen
> to you.
> BE PREPARED, BE SAFE, AND HAPPY SEARCHING
> Nancy (TILGHMAN) Lindroth, author
> Modoc SC
> (McCormick County, part of Granville and Old Edgefield and Abbeville
> Districts, SC - 1700s)
> Researching McMILLAN, KERNS, (SD, WV, MD), HICKS AND BOONE (MD)
> TILGHMAN (MD, NJ),
> GRANT & EMERY (NJ)
> *Published in "Southern Echoes", June 2004, Augusta Genealogical
> (AGS), Augusta GA
> *Reprinted in "Imprints," Quarterly Publication of the Genealogical
> Society of Broward County, Inc, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Edition 23.3 -
> 2004 )
> *As some people learn better visually, I also did a presentation for
> AGS, entitled "Show, Tell and Smell" - Melted photographs, burned
> quilts, and papers covered with carbon present a lasting image.
> Permission is requested to reprint elsewhere. ()