Many of you know my day job is that of a systems administrator. As one, I have to be concerned about things like data integrity, backups and disaster recovery. Somehow, while on one of my daily train rides, my mind wandered and hit on the fact that I really don’t perform these functions at home, and I should. Or, at least I should do them better. Of course, I do have the technology!
What I thought of was that my wife, like plenty of you out there, likes to keep paperwork. Now this is important stuff like tax returns, current bills, car service records, etc., and documents like birth certificates and such. Now some of these are in a small fire safe, but some of them are in a file cabinet.
So, what happens if there is a fire and I lose my file cabinet? I GUARANTEE that the IRS audits me because that’s where my tax returns are
Now a month ago or so I was reading an article on how to reduce clutter at home and one of the suggestions it made was to set up a “scanning station” where you scanned in your bills/documents/what have you and then shredded them. The basic idea was to use your computer and scanner as an avenue to better manage your paperwork. No more hunting for the last cable bill or pay stub through that grocery bag of miscellaneous paperwork you keep next to your easy chair, or worse, your “junk” drawer.
My idea was to use that scanning station idea as an avenue to not only reduce my personal paperwork clutter, but also as a security measure. Scan those important docs and get them available digitally. Get them all together. Scan all your important family photos. Imagine losing all those memories in a fire! Get all your music and anything else you can get together digitally and put all that stuff on a removable hard drive. In fact, have all that information backed up on that drive every day. You can figure out how to do that, I know you can!
Take that removable drive, maybe a big old cheapie USB drive and have your kids do an art project and cover it (not the vents or plugs) in bright red construction paper or masking tape with a white FIRE sign on it. Lastly, get it located in an as convenient spot as possible and drill everyone in the house that if there is an EMERGENCY, make sure to grab that FIRE drive on their way out the door if at all possible. Don’t even bother to unplug it, just grab and run. You can always get a new power supply or just slap the drive in a machine if need be, but you would at least have your important stuff available to retrieve.
That’s it. That’s the idea. Run with it and let me know how it works out. Now I have to go convince my wife that scanning for the next three months is going to be great fun