Disaster Recovery

aftermath of natural disaster

Natural disasters can harm family heirlooms.  These resources will teach you how to plan for a disaster and salvage or restore your family treasures in the event of disaster.

24 Hour Hotlines

American Institute of Conservation-Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC-CERT):

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC): 978-470-1010

Preserving Treasures After the Disaster
Library of Congress
Simple instructions and video demonstrations for salvaging a wide variety of materials.

Heritage Emergency National Task Force
Heritage Preservation
Information to help individuals understand their risks, prepare for disasters, salvage their belongings, and restore their historic property. Great information on dealing with water damage and soot.   Save Your Treasures the Right Way covers the basics of dealing with water damage,  and  Coping with Water Damage, a ten-minute video, provides a demonstration of techniques.  There's also a great 6 minute video titled Dealing with Soot.

Salvage Procedures for Wet Items
Minnesota Historical Society
Helpful resource for salvaging a wide variety of water damaged materials. Procedures are excerpted from the MHS disaster plan. The Disaster Salvage Tip Sheet (PDF) is particularly helpful.

Disaster Recovery for Films in Flooded Areas
Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)
Useful resource for recovering family home movies with informative frequently asked questions section.

Conserve O Grams
National Park Service
The leaflets on this site are primarily for professionals, but the scope of materials under the care of the National Park Service make this a valuable resource for information about caring for or salvaging a wide variety of material.

Emergency Salvage of Moldy Books and Paper
Emergency Salvage of Wet Photographs
Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
These leaflets are written for professionals, but there's lots of good information for the general public.

Find a Conservator
American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)
If a valuable family treasure is badly damaged, a professional conservator may be necessary. Use this online resource to search for a professional conservator by location and material specialty.