Hurricane Harvey: Helpful Tips for Handling Your Data

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Thought Leadership Team


For what promises to be a long and catastrophic hurricane season, the wrath has just begun with Hurricane Harvey on parts of the United States. The 2017 hurricane season is set to last until November 30 and is said to be an above-normal season for the Atlantic. According to Live Science, the region has a 70 percent chance of experiencing between 11 and 17 storms this season and between five and nine of these storms may elevate to hurricane status.

As the hurricane season lets loose, there are important steps to keep in mind to increase your odds of a successful data recovery from a wet device. Many flood victims when returning to their homes gather the items important to their lives. Eventually, they might begin to wonder if the important data stored on their electronic devices can be recovered and what they can do to help. Whether you have sacred family photos or important personal documents, understanding how to minimize the damage to your data can be helpful at this time.

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 it 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 has been damaged; improper handling can make recovery operations more difficult which can lead to valuable information being lost
  • Never attempt to dry water-damaged media by opening it or exposing it to heat, such as from a hairdryer
  • 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, contact a data recovery professional before any attempts are made 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.