How to protect and repair family heirlooms after a hurricane

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As millions of people are piecing their lives back together after devastating hurricanes, many are discovering some of their most prized possessions are destroyed.  While homes can be rebuilt, there is something that can’t be replaced -- family heirlooms. 

According to Farmers Insurance, here are some tips to help keep your family history safe. 

When preparing for a disaster, never wrap things in plastic. It will trap moisture and make things worse. Mold can form within 24 hours of exposure to water, and can be worse than water damage.

Perhaps you’ve saved all of your important photos on external hard drives and backed them up on the cloud. But what about older photographs you never got around to digitizing? Dry wet photos face up. If time or space isn’t available, put them in the freezer to deal with later. 

Important books and documents might have water stains, but you can still save them. Fan out papers, and place books upright until they are no longer damp. But you should never stack them. Certain books, however, may require professional restoration. 

Never blot or wipe artwork. Lay it flat on blocks to keep it off the ground, and direct fans AWAY from the surface. 

Salt water can corrode metal exposed to air. So if your jewelry that’s been passed down through generations is now floating -- you’ll want to keep it submerged until a professional can desalinate it from the storm surge water it has been soaking in. 

If you find yourself having to throw some of your cherished belongings away, remember the most important thing -- you and your loved ones are safe. 

 

Watch the video to see how to give your heirlooms a second chance.

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