The Norman Transcript


June 2, 2013

What to do when the hard drives hit the fan

NORMAN — What do you do when your house has been smashed into a pile of rubble by a massive killer tornado? If you are like most folks, you try to gather what’s left of your “stuff” and move on.

What do you do, however, if your computer has been crushed by debris, thrown half a county away, or drowned in a mass of mud, and you have no backups of your family photos or personal files? What if your cell phone has been destroyed, losing all of your contacts, and you don’t have anyone’s phone number memorized? Do you just throw your ruined electronics in the trash and start from scratch?

Many victims of the May 2013 tornados that thrashed central Oklahoma have been overjoyed to learn that, even though their computers appeared to be beyond hope, it was possible to take the hard drives and memory cards inside them and rescue their irreplaceable files.

A few days after the tornados hit, I and a handful of like-minded computer professionals started doing just that, and the results have been very rewarding. Even though I founded the group, I can’t take credit for the idea; it was Aggie, my fiancé, who thought of the idea after news reports indicated rescue and aid organizations were being overwhelmed with volunteers.

Offering hope for storm-damaged computers and other digital devices, The Computer Rescue Team is a group comprised of local computer experts, the City of Moore Public Library and one of the world’s premier data recovery labs and hard drive manufacturers.

Our goal is to help people recover digital data, such as family photos and other personal files, from devices damaged in the recent tornados that struck Oklahoma. Devices include items such as desktop, laptop and tablet computers, cell phones, digital cameras, etc. The service is free of charge to tornado victims.

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