During the recent bush fire emergency here in Tasmania I spoke to many people about what they'd grabbed as they evacuated.
As you can imagine photos were integral to most people's "grab and run" list.
They weren't, however, part of my list.
I guess you know why? Because I'd already scanned / digitized them all years ago.
My photos had already been backed up from their original fragile paper form and subsequently also backed up off-site from my house.
Some people will argue that paper photos are better than digitized ones. They are more convenient, you don't need a screen to see them and so on.
That's fine and good for them. I am not suggesting you bypass that preference. I am suggesting you back it up though!
These days digitizing and scanning slides and negatives is pretty quick, easy and cheap.
This Kogan 5 in 1 scanner does photos, slides, negatives and more https://www.kogan.com/au/buy/combo-scanner-5-1-B/
At the time of writing this was $89 Au + delivery. Sounds like a cheap way to save those irreplaceable memories.
It is going to take you quite some time to get through them all, but in the end it is worth it. The trick is to start now and steadily do a bit at a time.
Not only will they be protected from disasters but you'll also be able to share them more easily, touch them up a bit....and digital photos don't fade!
I had quite a few old slides and negatives that were barely distinguishable as something worth keeping. Someone in my family had decided to keep them so I figured I should check them before throwing them out.
Just as well, the simple photo enhancing tools that come with the scanner brought many of these photos to life in a way I'd never seen before.
Of course, you can apply this strategy to your important documents too.
While most documents are emailed to us these days, not everyone gets everything that way.
You don't need to take so much care and do so much fiddling with documents. As long as you can read them you don't need to "enhance" them or "fix" them.
To this end I ditched my flatbed scanner years ago and now use a phone app' to capture my documents.
I use Tiny Scanner (an article about it is here) on my phone. It is pretty good and pretty cheap.
Of course, it is also just as easy to take a photo of the document with your phones camera or other digital camera.
Do it now. Go on...