When the March landslide hit the community of Oso, dozens of families lost everything. Now some local college students are helping families recover treasured memories.
“We just want to help and serve Oso,” Rob Matthews explained. Matthews is one of dozens of students in the Digital Forensics and Data Recovery Certificate program who have volunteered for the special recovery effort.
They will use specialized training to take the computers pulled from the mud and unlock the treasures buried inside.
“Most people's lives are on their computers so we may be talking about any kind of data that they may have had,” said Instructor Steve Hailey.
The idea for the recovery effort came from Matthews, who said he thought of his own family when he approached his instructors and fellow students with the idea.
“You're giving back a piece of what they've lost and you can say here's your father, your mother your child...” he said.
The computers should start arriving at the school in a matter of days. It will take hours and possibly days to clean the core of each hard drive, put it into a new housing and then try to recover the data.
Instructor Richard Leickly says the painstaking work is their way of helping out.
“We don't have a lot of interface with the public typically but we're people, too and we care about what people are going through.”