It is hard not to rely on technology in this day and age. Our world is rapidly revolving around it so much that we sometimes take it for granted, but should we also find ways to keep our data storage low tech?
Computers, cell phones, tablets, external hard drives, memory sticks, and cloud drives are a part of everyday life. One of my favorite inventions that ties them all together is the internet. With that being said they all have one more thing in common, power.
Power is something we take for granted, but it’s also one of the first things to fail us in the event of a catastrophic emergency. If there is no power, there is no computer based technology and our data storage is impossible to access.
My high-tech strategy
To keep my family’s information up to date, and easily accessible. I rely on my Google contacts. It syncs into my cell phone, email account, and my Google Drive. I can virtually access it from anywhere that has internet access.
Being a military family we change duty stations a lot. I like to have all of our information at my finger tips when it comes time to fill out the endless amount of paperwork every time we relocate.
Keeping information organized and easily accessible, especially with family involved, is a vital part to a smooth transition. It has taken me years to get a good file system figured out for my family. My most recent and old school method is The Little Black Book.
I keep a pocket sized journal with all of our information in it. Most people gasp when they hear that I still use this low tech solution for data storage, but in case of an emergency, I still have all that information at my fingertips.
Plus, during an emergency it may be difficult to remember things that have been committed to memory, such as passwords and pin numbers. Another benefit of having a little black book is that my husband has all of our important information in case anything happens to me. Such as loss of life. I feel better knowing we are prepared for any situation.
The Little Black Book
The little black book is not always black. I use a pocket sized composition note book. They usually come in many colors, and cost less than $1. I chose a pocket sized book, because it fits wherever my passport does. I can easily fit it in my travel purse, or toss it in my bug out bag. Also, it conveniently fits in a sandwich sized baggy for instant water proofing.
What is in The Little Black Book?
I keep information such as:
- Emergency point of contact (In this case I put the address and phone number of our evacuation point, usually a relative’s home.)
- Important Contacts (mailing address, phone number, and email – just in case.) These include family, work place, school, healthcare, and financial institutions.
- User names, passwords, pin numbers, and combination codes.
- Social security numbers, passport numbers, account numbers, and routing numbers.
- Pet microchip numbers, and contact information for veterinarian and microchip service.
Keep The Information Safe
As with any important information be sure to store it in a safe place. I store my little black book with my passports, and other valuable documents. I also have my own secret code when it comes to writing down information, an encryption of sorts. This way if my book ends up in the wrong hands it may be harder to decipher.
My husband and I have had to come up with our own secret code, so to speak. Since there are times when we are miles apart, and have to share valuable information over an unsecured network. We have had lots of fun developing it over the years. It is an effective way to communicate in an emergency situation, as well as making us feel like super spies from a movie.
Technology is great, but it’s not foolproof, and in fact, it’s susceptible to weather, terrorism, solar activity, sabotage, human error, etc. It’s always smart to have a low-tech back-up, and my solution is the Little Black Book.
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Jessica Hentze is a mother of two, and a military wife.
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