So yeah, this graphic has “food storage” before “preparedness,” but it’s not only about creating a food storage. And it’s not all about expecting the world to end, digging an underground bunker, and buying night-vision goggles.
It’s really about considering your family’s needs and preparing as best as you’re able, for all contingencies.
One of the things I didn’t consider when I initially started doing food storage and thinking in the “prepper” mindset was about everyday emergencies. What exactly are “everyday emergencies”? It’s not a house fire, a tornado, or the food supply in our nation drying up. It’s things like your child, pet, or you knocking a glass of water on your laptop. A computer crash – PC or Mac – and your first thought being, “Oh CRAP! Who can I call to get things off of the hard drive?”
Let’s face it – fires, tornadoes, and other natural disasters happen. They are unfortunate, but relatively uncommon in the scope of daily life. But you probably use your computer every day, likely more than once a day. After all, you’re not reading this post in a local newspaper – you’re reading it online or in an RSS reader of your choice. These things require computers. So what happens if your computer dies? Or if a glass of water (or mug of hot tea… not that I would know anything about that… ahem) spills on your computer? Do you have a way to replace your investment? What about the precious files that are likely on it? Your music collection? Your documents? Your photos?
I’ve just recently pulled this to the front of the list for non-food-storage preparedness for our family. I’ve got some specific reasons for wanting to make sure my system is backed up, and I searched for the best value for an online back-up system. Sure, I have an external hard drive, but in order to back up BOTH computers in the house, it would have to be a pretty large external drive. And I’d have to remember to back them up regularly. If our home was robbed, chances are pretty good that a thief would take computers AND an external drive – it’s all about fencing stuff, and computer components have a reasonable pawn-value. Which means I’d be out of luck if I’d backed up everything on an external drive.
Online backup services, however, have a small client that is loaded on the computer (PC or Mac) and it does the backing up for you. The initial backup is large and somewhat slow, but after that, it checks daily for changes and just backs up the changes it finds. The backups happen automatically and in the background – they don’t hog bandwidth or CPU energy. They remove the “doggone it”-factor from having to remember backing up and if your laptop or desktop computer crashes, you can restore to a new computer without a huge struggle.
So an online backup service, while possessing a pricetag, is a pretty decent value, considering. I checked out both Carbonite and Mozy and was surprised to know that both companies have a one-computer per account price (in other words, it would be twice as much to back up a 2nd computer), and both are pretty equally priced. But I discovered that Mozy also offers a free backup of 2GB for any computer – which is honestly about perfect for my laptop. So we’re backing up the desktop with a paid membership (poke around for online coupons that will defray the $55 annual cost – I paid about $46 for my year of backups) and my laptop on the free membership. I think it’s the best of both worlds.
If you’re interested in using Mozy Home’s free backup with the 2GBs of space, you can check it out here . I think it’s a pretty nifty offer from a company that promises to keep your data safe, secure, and uncompromised. And it’s a great way to extend your practice of “being prepared.”