Toronto Flood Proof That Students Should Protect Their Art Portfolios

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( via — July 20, 2013) Toronto, Canada — The two thunderstorms tore through Toronto dropping a record-breaking 126mm of rain in only 3 hours breaking through basement doors and leaving commuters stranded on flooded freeways, subways and trains. The damage left by the receding flood waters left Toronto residents wondering how to protect their belongings when insurance doesn’t cover over land flooding and certainly can’t help Toronto’s 194,200 university students who were at risk to lose their course work and portfolios.

Sudden flash flooding in downtown Toronto July 8 not only flooded out the Kipling Subway station, and had rescue workers shuttling 1400 commuters off a halted Go Train in rubber boats but is expected to inflict over $600 million in damages throughout the city.

In addtion, the flood has left an array of personal tragedies in its wake with not only the damage to home furnishings but by the loss of priceless family heirlooms, photos and artwork.

A report by CBC television revealed the extent of the damage to personal property. In the CBC interview Danuta Czubak of Dundas St, Toronto despaired over the personal loss of her recently deceased mother’s photos, showing the reporter the stained and rippled photos as she flipped through the irreparably damaged album.

It reveals the risk of damage to thousands of Toronto’s college and university students’ course work. Toronto is home to some of the top art and design programs in the country with several of the schools in the flood region. Students are at particular risk since they so often live in affordably priced basement apartments. The damage to Danuta’s album prompted me to write this story to urge students to be proactive in protecting their course work and art portfolios.

 As the spokesperson for PortPrep Art Portfolio Coaching, I know the huge challenge that students face when they lose years’ worth of work that they showcase in their art portfolios to get into the most competitive art and design programs.

Melissa Sklepetas of University of Guelph Fine Art who was applying to Sheridan’s and OCADU’s Illustration Program last year lost her entire portfolio. She emailed me in a panic, “I’m kind of freaking out right now because I can’t find ANY of my portfolio items, and I’m going to be making it over the reading week… I can’t find anything anywhere”. She would have had to recreate her entire portfolio if my photographer hadn’t recorded all of her work during my portfolio workshop since she had no record of her work.

PortPrep urges students to record their work digitally to protect their course work and delicate artworks by pre-emptively backing them up on portable hard drives that they keep with them.

To completely keep their files disaster-proof art students can save their art portfolios via online storage sites like Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud or even better upload them onto art portfolios sites like Behance and Carbonmade.

Students can learn more about what options exist to protect and showcase their work on-line by going to PortPrep’s blog entries on the best external hard drives or online portfolio sites.

As PortPrep’s main spokesperson and instructor, Karen Kesteloot counsels students on how to make an art portfolio that will get them accepted into the most competitive art and design colleges with 100% success rate.

Karen Kesteloot

PortPrep Studios

275 Woolwich St, Guelph, ON Can N1H 3V8