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Hurricane Florence: How to Ensure Your Data Remains Safe

September is the peak of the hurricane season. With the US having already experienced devastating flooding earlier this year, and the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence, we thought we would share some important steps to increase your odds of a successful data recovery from a wet device.

For those that have been a victim of a flood, you’ll know that returning home to gather your personal items is always a daunting and upsetting task. Eventually, though, there may be a point where you wonder if any important data you stored on your water damaged electronic device is recoverable.

Whether your device is full of family photos, important personal documents or even if you operate your business from home, understanding how to minimize the damage to your data can be extremely helpful in the case of disaster.

Tips for Protecting Water-Damaged Media

We recommend that flood victims fearing loss of their vital information consider the following before assuming that the damage is permanent:
• Never assume that data is unrecoverable, no matter what your device has been through
• Never attempt to plug in or turn on water-damaged devices
• Do not shake, disassemble or attempt to clean any hard drive or server that shows visible damage; improper handling can make recovery operations more difficult which can lead to the loss of valuable information
• Never attempt to dry water-damaged media by opening it or exposing it to heat, such as from a hairdryer
• Do not “rice dry” your device as the rice can ruin critical device elements
• Do not attempt to operate visibly-damaged devices
• Do not attempt to freeze-dry media
• Do not use common software utility programs on broken or water-damaged devices
• For mission-critical situations, DO NOT DRY the media. Contact a data recovery professional before attempting to reconfigure, reinstall or reformat

Data loss is stressful, but dealing with a disaster on top of it is far worse. If you are affected by a hurricane, or other natural disaster, we hope you find these tips helpful in easing the process of your recovery.

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