Going Digital 3
I live in hurricane heaven. I used to live in tornado territory. Some live where earthquakes threaten. Fire and flood can happen to anyone. Digital files are so much easier to protect from such disasters than paper files and books.
I keep all my files on external hard drives. I find it easier to have one hard drive for work files which are confidential, one for genealogy files, one for personal files, etc. but that's a preference. Having one drive would be easier for most people. I bought a small powered D-Link hub that efficiently handles seven USB items and takes up only one USB port on the laptop. Hard drives are getting smaller in size and larger in storage space. They also get less expensive almost daily. My WD Passport drives plug into any USB and do not require a separate electrical supply. They also fit in a large pocket, a purse, a briefcase, etc. I call them my "grab and go" drives. Several times a week they back up, independently, to a large portable hard drive. Once a week the large portable hard drive backs up to a MyBook hard drive. The MyBook is stored away from the computers and other portable hard drives.
With hurricanes you have plenty of warning if you are paying attention. It also works when you are going away for vacation. One drive goes to the bank where it fits nicely in the bank box. One drive is wrapped securely and goes into a secure container placed in what is deemed to be the safest place in the house along with other valuables. The small portables always stay with me. If I evacuate they go in my bag with the laptop. [What? Travel without a laptop? You are kidding, right?]
Backing up is a lesson you can learn the hard way or the easy way. Develop a system for backing up your files, then do it more often than you think is necessary and you won't learn the painful hard way.