Now that the flood waters in Colorado have begun to recede, people are heading home to assess the damage. While the focus is on moving forward, family heirlooms and photos are more precious than ever. The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum (which thankfully remained dry) has shared a document called “Advice for Rescuing Family Treasures”, provided by the Heritage Emergency National Task Force.

“Handle with care” is the general theme. Wet photos should be gently removed from albums, carefully rinsed if necessary, and allowed to air dry on paper towels or window screen. We are advised to be patient, and allow the drying to take place gradually, indoors, in a well-ventilated area. Trying to speed things up with a hair dryer, the oven, the sun, or by ironing can cause even more damage. If you can’t deal with books, photos, and textiles within 48 hours, put them in the freezer.

For valuable heirlooms, consider consulting a professional conservator, especially if items have been immersed in contaminated water.

You can download a PDF of the entire document, which contains additional informational links, at RMQM.org. The museum has also just announced they will be collecting quilts for those in need. The effort is called Covering Colorado and more information will be available on the museum’s website in the coming days…Jan Magee, The Quilt Life

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