A Videographer's Disaster

Yesterday, my first day back to Tucson, I went over to Jessica's old house where my most valuable posessions were stored. They were there and not in my storage space because they're stuff that is sensitive to heat; DVDs, CDs, and videotapes, and electronics, like cameras and hard drives.drying out my media

Well, it turns out that during my month away, the toilet backed up in the bathroom adjacent to the room whose closet held my stuff, and water flowed out of the bathroom and across the floor of the bedroom. Jessica and her housemate thought
it did not reach into the closet, but when I arrived and started loading stuff into the truck to take somewhere else (because they're moving out), I realized they were wrong. Who would have thought I would be a victim of a flood, in Tucson?

To my horror, one end of the closet had been a little lower in elevation, encouraging the water to flow in and slightly soak the bottoms of 2 boxes. This flood was not deep. Apparently just a big shallow slick of water. But the cardboard of the boxes wicked the moisture up, which then in the heat turned the interior of the boxes into a miniature sauna. Every single piece of paper or paper product (like j-cards of miniDV tapes, other boxes, paper sleeves of CDs, etc) became slightly moist. One box was full of copies of my film, DVDs wrapped individually in shrinkwrap, so I'm not worried about those. But the other was full of about 3 years worth of raw footage from all sorts of finshed or unfinished video projects. I was terrified when I opened up that box.

I still have not had the heart to actually test any of the discs or tapes. Again, nothing was soaked. Just sort of bathed in a steam bath. Condensation was on lots of tape covers, but it was impossible to tell from visual inspection whether the tapes or discs were actually damaged. I opened up all the tape cases and laid them out to dry with a fan blowing on them.

Hopefully I have not lost anything, or anything important. There's easily 60 hours of stuff there!

re: A Videographer's Disaster

oh crap! that sucks. man, i am so sorry to hear it. i think the key would be to try to put them somewhere they can dry out (dry warm air? not too hot or direct sun?) so that the moisture can slowly cook outta them. probably the worst thing to do to them is try to use them if they have moisture in them. that is my guess anyway -- based upon what people say about electronics that get wet.

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