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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Entries in disaster recovery (2)


    Fire, Flood, Earthquake: Is Your Genealogy Safe?


    Learn how to protect your family history research before and after disaster strikes whether you're at risk from natural disaster, home disaster or a computer crash in the September FamilyTree Magazine Podcast when I talk with with Lisa Louise Cooke about my article in the current issue of FamilyTree magazine, "Your Genealogy Disaster Plan." 

    Last week I shared disaster-preparedness tips "Prepare Your Family History to Survive Fire Season" prompted by the California wildfires that were burning in my sister's former hometown of Sliverado Canyon, California. Here are a few more tips you can hear more about in the September FamilyTree Magazine Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke.

    Before Disaster: Know Your Risks


    Gather important numbers
    Practice prevention
    Prioritize keepsakes
    Digitize to safeguard
    Get an insurance checkup
    Back up computer files
    Save passwords
    Practice smart storage
    Make a genealogy grab and go list
    Create a genealogy disaster kit

    After a Disaster: Be Ready to Salvage Your Treasures

    Assess the damage
    Collect scattered items
    Contact your insurance agent
    Salvage wet photos for later attention


    How to Freeze Water Damaged Photos for Future Conservation

    Water damage image large

    Water damaged photographs can often be salvaged, but you may not have time or resources to take care of your family memories immediately. The Northeast Document Conservation Center recommends this simple method for postponing photo recovery efforts --

    1. Air drying is the preferred method for dealing with water-damaged items, but when this is not practical, or if photos are stuck together, freezing is a viable alternative.
    2. Use waxed paper to wrap or interleave individual photographs before freezing to make later separation easier.
    3. Work with high-priority items first.
    4. Label containers.
    5. Place items in freezers at below 0 degrees F to prevent thawing and refreezing.
    6. DO NOT freeze audio and video tapes, computer tapes, discs, or CD-Roms, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes or tintypes.
    7. Items may remain in the freezer indefinitely and will eventually dry out.
    8. Consult a conservator for assistance when you are ready to work with your photos again.

    For More Information, see

    Northeast Document Conservation Center Preservation Leaflet Series:

    Emergency Salvage of Wet Photographs

    Freezing and Drying Wet Books and Records


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