COLUMBIA, Mo. – Important papers and family records may be soaked by rising flood waters, but there are ways to recover and preserve them. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state of Missouri and the National Archives offer some tips that may help dry your family papers.
- Many record materials will respond well to simple air drying as long as minor physical distortion is acceptable. Small quantities may be spread out on top of clean blotting material (paper toweling, etc.) in a cool dry location with plenty of air circulation.
- As long as materials are not too densely packed and active drying conditions are maintained, mold growth may be retarded. While high heat and harsh sunlight will dry records quickly, they may permanently damage record materials and should be avoided.
- Quantities too large to handle within the first 48 hours should be frozen either for defrosting and air drying at a later date, or for referral to a commercial drying vendor or preservation professional.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.