Amid the devastating recent destruction in the Midwest and South, many emotional stories have emerged — including that of one miracle family photo that was lost, then found. After tornadoes tore through the region, a treasured family photo from a house in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, ended up 150 miles away on the windshield of Katie Posten’s car in New Albany, Indiana. 

The black-and-white photo shows a woman in a striped dress holding a young child. On its back are the date the picture was taken (1942) and two names: Gertie Swatzell and J.D. Swatzell.

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Photo credit: Katie Posten

Through the power of Facebook, Posten was able to track down Gertie Swatzell’s great-great-grandson Cole Swatzell, who said the photo belongs to his family and was making plans to retrieve it. It was a small feel-good moment in a time of tragedy. 

Why it’s important to protect your family’s photos by digitizing them

If you’re fortunate, you have a cache of irreplaceable family photos you want to pass on to future generations, along with any information or stories about the ancestors pictured in them. While vintage photo prints are tactile and evocative, they’re also vulnerable to damage. 

An accident or natural disaster like a fire, flood, or hurricane that damages your home could mean losing photos forever. And in a fast-moving emergency, the last thing you need to be worrying about is if your photos are safe.

Storing your family photos in sealed plastic tubs where they’re less likely to get damaged is a great first step. But to truly protect and preserve your family media, you really want to scan all your prints, along with any slides, so you also have these invaluable images in digital form.

You can do this yourself; it’s easier with a fast scanner like Epson’s FastFoto. Or, you can have a professional service like EverPresent scan your photos for you.

How to backup digital family photos for extra protection

The most important part of preserving your photos forever is having a reliable backup strategy. The Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team recommends a 3-2-1 backup plan

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Put simply, this means aiming to keep three copies of important files on two different devices (for example, computer and external drive or cloud service). Then store one of your backups off-site (for example, your office or the cloud).

Mylio can help sync and protect your photos

Photo applications like Mylio can help ensure your family photos are never lost. Mylio is the only photo manager where you can edit, organize, sync, and protect your photos — keeping your files privately on your own devices. Read more on how to backup and sync in Mylio

In Mylio, users select one or more Vaults. Vaults are devices or services with plenty of available storage — your desktop, external drive, and/or a cloud service — that are homes for your original, highest-quality photos and videos. 

Try Mylio for free and discover a seamless way for your entire photo library to stay protected at all times.