|Salvaging belongings damaged in a disaster|
Fire, water, dust and mould can all badly damage collection materials. While a damaged item may never look new again, sometimes it is possible to preserve what remains.
- Download AICCM’s brochure After a Fire [PDF file – 401.29 KB] to find out what you can do to salvage fire-damaged possessions. Please feel free to print, copy and distribute this flier.
- Download AICCM’s brochure Salvaging keepsakes after a disaster [PDF file – 137.76 KB] to find out more about disaster preparedness and how to salvage collections damaged by water.
Bushfires…Protect Your Precious Possessions (Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation University of Melbourne). The CCMC received funding from Emergency Management Australia to produce a booklet aimed at assisting people to prepare for and protect their precious possessions in the event of bushfires.
First Aid for Fire Damaged Audio Visual Material (National Film and Sound Archive). The NFSA site also contains information about salvaging damaged photographs.
Fire damaged memorabilia: advice for bushfire victims (Australian War Memorial)
Caring for your mementos – Cleaning soot damaged objects (Australian War Memorial)
Fire damage (Chicora Foundation – USA). After a fire you will likely have several types of damage… Some items will be heavily damaged by the fire — exhibiting ashing, charring, melting, or other distortion from the heat. Much of this material is likely not salvageable. The remainder may be lightly scorched, covered in soot, and have a strong odor of the fire…read more. Chicora is a non-profit heritage preservation organization founded in 1983.
Heritage Emergency National Task Force (USA). This site offers some tips for cleaning up after a fire, safely.
Flood and water damage
National Park Service (USA) Conserve-o-grams. These help sheets focus on the salvage of water-damaged material.
- Emergency Treatment For Water-Soaked Furniture And Wooden Objects
- Salvage At A Glance, Part I: Paper Based Collections
- Salvage At A Glance, Part II: Non-Paper Based Archival Collections
- Salvage At A Glance Part III: Object Collections
- Salvage At A Glance Part IV: Natural History Collections
- Salvage At A Glance Part V: Textiles
- Health And Safety Hazards Arising From Floods
The Library of Congress (USA) offers information about Emergency Drying Procedures for Water Damaged Collections.
FEMA’s Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) Program (USA) has an online version of the Emergency Response Wheel about Recovering From and Coping With Flood Damaged Property. You can access information about salvaging books, heirlooms, mouldy items, photographs, textiles, currency and valuables. Other information pages include:
- Check for Hazards When Returning Home
- Emergency Response Action Steps
- After a Flood: The First Steps
- Saving Family Treasures Guidelines
FEMA’s Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) Program (USA) has information about Removing Mould From Your Home.