Start salvage early...because mold can take over within 48 hours.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers the following suggestions for salvaging keepsakes.
- Evaluate the condition of photos to see if they are beyond repair.
- Remove photos that can be repaired from plastic or paper enclosures and frames.
- Carefully rinse the photos with cool, clean water as necessary.
- Do not touch or blot surfaces.
- Air-dry wet photos. Hang them with clips attached to the edges, or lay them flat on absorbent paper.
Don't allow photos to touch each other.
- If there are too many photos for immediate attention, keep the photos in a container of clean water.
This will preserve your photos for 48 hours. If you need more time, you can freeze them. If possible,
insert freezer or waxed paper between each photo before freezing.
For more information on Photograph Salvation and Restoration, click here (Note: This link will take you to an external site.).
- If rinsing is necessary, hold the book closed.
- For partially wet or damp books, stand them on their top or bottom edge with covers
opened at a 90-degree angle, and allow them to air-dry.
- For very wet books, lay them on a flat, clean surface. Insert paper towels or other absorbent
materials throughotu the book. But don't insert so much that you stretch the binding.
- If there are too many books to air-dry in 48 hours, wrap each book in freezer or waxed paper,
pack them spine down in sturdy containers, and then freeze them.