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26 March 2009

Contact: Mary Rogers


If you're careful, you can halt further damage

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Floods threaten not only homes, but treasured possessions: family heirlooms, photos, and other keepsakes. Even if they are completely soaked, they can probably still be saved if they are not contaminated with sewage or chemicals. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a coalition of 40 national organizations and federal agencies including FEMA, offers these basic guidelines from professional conservators:

A free, online video guide demonstrating how to rescue soaked photographs, books, documents, and other valued items is available from Heritage Preservation. This 10-minute streaming video provides professional advice that benefits families as well as museum and library staff. View and link to the video at

These recommendations are intended as guidance only. Neither the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, nor its sponsors Heritage Preservation and FEMA, assumes responsibility or liability for treatment of damaged objects.Additional Resources Additional resources are available at


The Heritage Emergency National Task Force is a partnership of 40 government agencies and national service organizations formed in 1995. An initiative of Heritage Preservation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Task Force has helped to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. Find valuable disaster resources at the Task Force Web site,

For more than 30 years, Heritage Preservation has been the national, nonprofit advocate for the proper care of the objects and sites that embody our history and enrich our lives. Heritage Preservation partners with institutions, organizations, and concerned individuals who care about preserving our past.