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Photo of Plink the mechanical bird, external hard drive, and writing supplies

External hard drive, notebook, fountain pen–looks like Plink is getting prepared!

With Hurricane Florence looming in the distance, I’m seeing a lot of talk about preparations for weathering the storm. Protecting material objects should never be first priority, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared if you can. If you’re concerned about what might happen to your writing if your house or property become damaged, here are some thoughts on how to back up and protect your written words–after you take the steps you need to protect yourself and your loved ones.

  1. Store your files online. Upload your documents to Google Docs, Box Note, or email them to yourself. You can keep your writing private but still reap the benefits of accessing it on the internet.
  2. Back up your computer on a portable external hard drive. I own two of these drives. I keep one at work and one at home. I sometimes bring one with me when I travel. An external hard drive allows you to recover your files if your computer crashes or is destoyed.
  3. If you write with pen and paper like me, you might have a few notebooks with partially drafted manuscripts. If your household waterproof and fireproof safe still has room in it after you’ve stowed your essential documents like social security cards, consider adding the notebooks in.
  4. Keep your writing materials in the safe room in your house. If the storm comes, and I have to retreat to a central room with no windows, I’m going to bring the essentials like food, water, and flashlights. I’m also going to bring my laptop, external hard drive, the most important notebooks, and some of the fountain pens.

I’m not sure what I’ll experience with the storm later this week. Prayer will be another part of my preparations. If you’re also in the path of the hurricane, please take the precautions you can to stay safe. Words can be written again, but you can’t be replaced!

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