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Learn to salvage flood-damaged family items in upcoming workshops

Posted: 4:55 PM, Apr 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-22 17:55:20-04
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GLENWOOD, Iowa. (KMTV) — Those with family heirlooms damaged by flooding shouldn't throw them away just yet--experts from the Smithsonian Institution can help with restoration at upcoming workshops.

Preservation professionals will host workshops at state/federal Disaster Recovery Centers on Wednesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 25.

The following are locations and times for these events:

Wednesday, April 24, 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Fremont County DRC
2014 290th Ave., Sidney, IA, 51652

Wednesday, April 24, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Mills County DRC
111 Lacey St., Glenwood, IA, 51534

Thursday, April 25, 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Harrison County DRC
Harrison County Fairgrounds
Exhibit Building
800 West Huron St., Missouri Valley, IA, 51555

The Heritage Emergency National Task Force is sponsoring the event.

If you're unable to attend the event, FEMA has released two fact sheets that can help in preserving possessions.

Here are some basics to get you started, a press release from FEMA says:

  • If your prized possessions have been in contact with sewage or any chemicals, you will need professional help. Call IMALERT (Iowa Museums, Archives and Libraries Emergency Response Team) at 319-384-3673. They accept calls from members of the public and can provide advice and suggest a conservator who can help you. Other sources of help include the Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, 402-595-1180, and the Midwest Art Conservation Center in Minneapolis at 612-870-3120.
  • Gentle air-drying indoors is best for all your treasured belongings. Hair dryers, irons, ovens and prolonged exposure to sunlight will do irreversible damage. Increase indoor airflow with fans, open windows, air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
  • Use great caution in handling your heirlooms, which can be especially fragile when wet. Separate damp materials: remove the contents from drawers; take photographs out of damp albums; remove paintings and prints from frames; place paper towels between the pages of wet books.
  • Gently loosen dirt and debris on fragile objects with soft brushes and cloths. Avoid rubbing, which can grind in the dirt.
  • Clean photographs by rinsing them carefully in clean water. Air-dry photos on a plastic screen or paper towel, or by hanging them by the corner with plastic clothespins. Don’t let the image touch any other surfaces as it dries.
  • You may not be able to save everything, so focus on what’s most important to you, whether for historic, monetary or sentimental reasons.

For more information, visit this website.