Safety is a relative thing, for sure.
One of the primary goals of a personal historian is to save family stories before they’re lost. Many of those precious family treasures are too often lost before they can be captured. Once claimed, however, these priceless snippets of family legacy are generally handled with reverence and respect. Whether in print or in electronic form, we take all sorts of precautions to ensure that they’ll be available for future generations.
One of the most secure methods of doing this is the safe-deposit box at a banking institution. I use this method to preserve other personal and business records as well, figuring that locking items in a bank vault keeps them safe from fire, theft, tornadoes and just about any imaginable calamity.
But not floods, apparently.
We’ve been hard hit by flooding in Iowa this year and banks in a flood plain are just as vulnerable as anyone else. That’s a bitter lesson for the folks who had items in the safe-deposit vault at Guaranty Bank & Trust in downtown Cedar Rapids, where water seeped in through utility outlets to soak priceless artifacts.
A restoration company is trying to salvage important documents at a rate of $200 per inch-thick stack.
So, add this to your criteria when you’re seeking a safe place to store your stuff: Stay out of a flood plain, even if it’s in a bank vault.