Wildfire Victims Offered Guidance on Salvaging Records

Sept. 8, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — Conservators in the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin are hosting a free workshop from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, at the School of Information, 1616 Guadalupe St., to help wildfire victims salvage some of their personal records that have been damaged by fire or water.

Space is limited, so please call 512-903-9564 to reserve a spot. Additional workshops will be added on an as needed basis.

A Disaster Response and Recovery Web site with additional information can be found online.

The conservators, Karen Pavelka and Rebecca Elder, put together a disaster resource guide to help victims reclaim some of their treasured belongings. At the workshop, they will answer questions and address issues pertaining to salvaging various materials.

Documents, photographs and heirlooms that have been damaged in a fire often can be at least partially salvaged. Even after fires, most of the damage is the result of the water used to extinguish the fire. With care, wet documents and objects can be handled without causing further damage.

The following is an abbreviated list of resources for dealing with materials after a disaster.

American Institute for Conservation

Disaster Response and Recovery: If you're first

The American Institute for Conservation Disaster Response and Recovery site gives a summary of things to consider when first responding to a disaster and some basic tips on salvaging materials.

WAAC Salvage at a Glance chart

The Salvage at a Glance chart (PDF) gives the best drying methods for paper documents, books, parchment, paper artworks, paintings, sound and video recordings, and photographs.

Conservation OnLine Disaster Preparedness and Response

The Disaster Preparedness and Response site offers links to many other disaster response resources.

For more information, contact: Amy Crossette, Office of the President, 512-573-1078.

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