When homes are flooded and lives are upended, treasured keepsakes such as photos, artwork, quilts and family heirlooms become more cherished. Although they may have been damaged in the flood, these treasures may be salvageable. Over the years, preservation experts have been resources at Disaster Recovery Centers offering practical tips and steps on how to handle, dry and clean damaged objects, and share tips on personal safety, setting priorities and other preservation options.
FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution co-sponsor the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a partnership of 42 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. In addition to a new fact sheet, the Task Force’s efforts on salvaging water-damaged, important personal belongings is also featured in a post titled “Safeguarding Memories” on the FEMA blog.