Use online backups to safeguard precious photos | commerce

Dear Heloise: Regarding uploading pictures to your computer, I would suggest making sure you have an online backup of all computer files.

A fire or a flood can destroy your computer and any backup devices kept in your home.

And it also could destroy original photos stored at home.

As for the worry about technology getting outdated, there will always be a way to update files.

You can still buy converters for floppy discs to USB drives and floppy discs have not been used for decades.

I recently uploaded 3,000 slides to my computer. I found that after 60 years, some have faded badly; that is also true for color prints. — Alex Magdaleno, Camarillo, California

PILL REMINDERSDear Heloise: I recently found a way to keep from running short of essential prescription mail-order meds.

I started filling two weekly pill organizers instead of one and I refill the emptied one each week.

By doing this, I know if I need to request refills ahead of time. — Margaret Bee, Houston

GROCERY BAGSDear Heloise: I’d like to add to Lucy H.’s suggestion of using paper grocery bags. In our town, delis at the grocery stores give you cold cuts in zip-close bags. This is a waste of plastic if you ask me.

I go to the pastry department and grab a few wax paper bags. I then ask the deli clerk to put my cold cuts in them and they never decline.

When I get home, I simply put the meat and cheese in individual resealable food storage containers. — Kenny A., Bozeman, Montana

K CUP AND IRONDear Heloise: Here are a couple of helpful tips for K-cup-style coffee makers as well as household irons. K-cup-style coffee makers work better if you use filtered water, for example, from your refrigerator’s water dispenser.

Household irons have less problems with internal buildup if you use distilled water and then empty the cooled iron once you are done with it. — Mary, Vancouver, Washington

UPDATING PAPERWORKDear Heloise: Every January, I go through important papers and records to see if they need updating.

If something were to happen to me, is there someone with authorization to get medical, banking or insurance information?

Would they know how to get my account numbers and passwords or which insurances to call? Does this person know which bills to pay and how to access my online banking? Do they have a key to the house? Do they know my burial wishes? Do they know where all of these papers are kept?

It just makes it easier for whoever has to handle affairs in case of an emergency. This is something everyone should do, even though it’s time consuming. — PH, via email

Send hints or questions to Heloise, PO Box 795001, San Antonio TX 78279-5001 or email [email protected]