Hurricane Evacuation Checklist via Accuweather

Beyond the devastating losses from natural disasters are something often overlooked until it’s too late. Pictures. In the aftermath from Hurricane Harvey, one billion family photos were destroyed. There are to many heartbreaking stores, as lifetime’s of analog family photos are ruined.


Accuweather just posted this vital story on preparedness, what would happen in you had only hours to evacuate?  Excerpt:


Also, don’t forget about creating digital copies of irreplaceable items such as family photos.  “It’s so troubling that with the number of pictures out there, so few have been digitized,” said Mitch Goldstone, president and chief executive officer of ScanMyPhotos. He stressed the importance of not only digitizing photos but also having backups saved to a cloud or at a relative or friend’s house.



Evacuation checklist: How to get your family out safely in the face of an imminent disaster


We also just saw this heartbreaking from Casey Neistat that Candice’s parents lost nearly everything from the Harvey flooding, including their family photos.


 

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8 Ways to Fix Water Damaged Photos – Don’t Panic!

Water damage? Don’t panic!

 


  

One of the most common photo restoration requests we get is to fix one form or another of water damage. Whether it’s from a natural disaster, humidity or more severe contact with water, water damage brings us a lot of photo restoration business. We’d prefer to keep your family photos intact in the first place.



Whether your house was flooded or caught fire, your prized photos have probably suffered from water damage. The first rule of handling water-damaged photos? Don’t Panic! You may be able to salvage many or all of your pictures. You might want to contact a photo conservation professional or consult a book on the subject, but here are a few tips:





8 tips for restoring water damaged photos


  • Don’t let the photos dry out! As your photographs dry, they will stick to each other and any other materials they may be in contact with. You’ll find it impossible to pull them apart without causing potentially irreparable damage.

  • Get to work as soon as possible. Your photographs shouldn’t stay wet for more than two or three days. Now is a good time to recommend having a friend (or photo restoration expert) scan the images before you try pulling anything apart or before doing anything that will further damage the photos.

  • While you’re working on your photos, store them in a container full of cold, clean tap water; the colder the better. Don’t add chlorine to the water, but change the water every day. The chlorine in tap water is enough to prevent the growth of fungi and other biological threats.

  • Rinse your photos in a container of cold, clear running water. Don’t run the water directly onto the photos, because that could damage the chemical emulsion, causing permanent damage. Keep rinsing them until the run-off water is clear.


  • Carefully remove your photographs or negatives from the water, taking the smallest quantity possible. Pull them out of their wrappers and gently separate them. DO NOT FORCE THEM APART. Separate as many as possible before returning them to the cold water and starting on another batch. Repeat the separate-soak cycle as many times as necessary. However, sometimes you may not be able to separate materials without forcing the issue. In those cases you will probably have to just accept the corresponding damage.

  • Once your materials are separated, store them in water until you can wash them individually, using cold, clean running water. Use cotton balls, a soft cotton cloth or a soft foam rubber brush to remove foreign objects if needed. Rinse your photographs or negatives one more time after cleaning is complete.

  • Hang-dry prints and negatives from a clothesline. Make sure they will not be exposed to dust. As an option, special solutions are available that facilitate uniform, spot-free drying when applied to negatives and slides.

  • If your prints curl while drying, wet the paper side (NOT the emulsion!) with a moist sponge and place each one between two pieces of acid-free paper or photo blotters, and leave them under a flat, heavy object for a day or two.

You can also learn more about modern photo restoration in our next article, “When Disaster Strikes.”



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Water Damaged Photos? Don’t Panic!

One of the most common photo restoration requests received at ScanMyPhotos.com is how to fix one form or another of water damage. Whether it’s humidity or more severe contact with water, water damage brings us a lot of photo restoration business. We’d prefer to keep your family photos intact in the first place.


Whether your house was flooded or caught fire, your prized nostalgic family pwater damaged photoshotos have probably suffered from water damage.


The first rule of handling water-damaged photos? Don’t Panic!


You may be able to salvage many or all of your pictures. You might want to contact a photo conservation professional or consult a book on the subject, but here are a few of our favorite tips:


  • Don’t let the photos dry out! As your photographs dry, they will stick to each other and any other materials they may be in contact with. You’ll find it impossible to pull them apart without causing potentially irreparable damage.

 

 

Photo Restoration

  • Get to work as soon as possible. Your photographs shouldn’t stay wet for more than two or three days. Now is a good time to recommend having a friend (or photo restoration expert) scan the images before you try pulling anything apart or before doing anything that will further damage the photos.

  • While you’re working on your photos, store them in a container full of cold, clean tap water; the colder the better. Don’t add chlorine to the water, but change the water every day. The chlorine in tap water is enough to prevent the growth of fungi and other biological threats.

  • Rinse your photos in a resolutioncontainer of cold, clear running water. Don’t run the water directly onto the photos, because that could damage the chemical emulsion, causing permanent damage. Keep rinsing them until the run-off water is clear.

  • Carefully remove your photographs or negatives from the water, taking the smallest quantity possible. Pull them out of their wrappers and gently separate them. DO NOT FORCE THEM APART. Separate as many as possible before returning them to the cold water and starting on another batch. Repeat the separate-soak cycle as many times as necessary. However, sometimes you may not be able to separate materials without forcing the issue. In those cases you will probably have to just accept the corresponding damage.

  • Once your materials are separated, store them in water until you can wash them individually, using cold, clean running water. Use cotton balls, a soft cotton cloth or a soft foam rubber brush to remove foreign objects if needed. Rinse your photographs or negatives one more time after cleaning is complete.

  • Hang-dry prints and negatives from a clothesline. Make sure they will not be exposed to dust. As an option, special solutions are available that facilitate uniform, spot-free drying when applied to negatives and slides.

  • If your prints curl while drying, wet the paper side (NOT the emulsion!) with a moist sponge and place each one between two pieces of acid-free paper or photo blotters, and leave them under a flat, heavy object for a day or two.

Even if you follow these instructions, some of your prints will probably suffer permanent damage. In that case, still send it to us to find out which photos can be restored. You’ll be surprised!


You can also learn more about modern photo restoration in our next article, “When Disaster Strikes.”

 

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