California has always been associated with coast line beaches, palm trees, and sunny weather, and though California rarely experiences hurricanes and tornadoes, earthquakes are a common occurrence. California is shaken by many earthquakes every month, but most tremors are so light that it is mostly ignored. However, there have been several large magnitude earthquakes through the years such as the 7.9 magnitude quake that nearly burned down San Francisco in 1906, the Loma Prieta shake that rocked Candlestick Park right before the first pitch of the 1989 World Series baseball game, and the Northridge earthquake that caused heavy damage to the greater Los Angeles area in 1994.
Although there have not been any major earthquakes during the last three to four years (keeping my fingers crossed), California has been besieged by a different natural disaster during this period—mega wildfires. Large, sprawling wildfires have become a regular occurrence, and large patches of California have been scorched impacting many lives. The peak of California’s wildfire season is typically between July and November when the vegetation is dry and prime to ignite fire. 2020’s wildfire season started early, and to date, there have been over 8,500 fires, which have burned over 4.3 million acres equaling almost 4% of the state.*
The California wildfires have impacted tens of thousands of people, and though some were fortunate to have escaped with only minor damage to their homes, many others returned to their property to see their home completely devoured by the fire. It was heartbreaking to see news footage of those people scavenging through burnt debris trying to find anything salvageable. And though most of the burnt debris is not worth saving, a PC, if recognizable, might be salvageable – at least the data from the hard disk drive.
There are companies that specialize in recovering data from damaged hard disk drives, and the process reminds me of what I would see on one of those criminal scene investigation shows. Except instead of a forensic scientist performing elaborate tests, a highly skilled technician in a cleanroom environment delicately works to recover valuable data from the disks within the hard disk drive. The ability to recover data from a barely recognizable HDD is truly amazing. An internet search provides an extensive list of data recovery service companies, for Toshiba hard disk drives, Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation (Toshiba) has several authorized data recovery service providers. To view more about Toshiba HDD data recovery and the data service providers in North America click here.
Although I have not been directly impacted by the wildfires, I now have contingency plans. I put together a list of things to grab in the event of a last minute forced evacuation. The list contains the usual items such as clothes, official documents, and some electronics. And though I would make sure to grab my notebook PC, my first list did not include the old PC stored in the closet. However, after some careful thought, I realized that my old PC contains many gigabytes of irreplaceable pictures and videos. Some of the content was uploaded to some social media site, so I could recover those, but a larger percentage of my digital pictures on that old PC are from the early days of digital photography when uploading to social media sites were not common.
I hope that I never have to evacuate or face the consequences of fire destruction, but I have taken the precaution of backing up all of the data from my old PC onto a Toshiba Canvio® external HDD. So, in the event of a last minute forced evacuation, I can easily grab the small and portable Canvio® external HDD and leave behind the old bulky PC. As an added assurance, I now know that my valuable data may be recoverable by one of Toshiba’s authorized data recovery service providers if my Canvio® external HDD is damaged during the evacuation.
CANVIO is a trademark of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.
Toshiba defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes and a terabyte (TB) as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and therefore shows less storage capacity. Available storage capacity (including examples of various media files) will vary based on file size, formatting, settings, software and operating system, such as Microsoft Operating System and/or pre-installed software applications, or media content. Actual formatted capacity may vary.