Here to help: How to protect and recover your documents from disaster

Today’s post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty.

Culver Military, 28th and Market Street, flood damage, 1937 (Records of the Tennessee Valley Authority)

Louisville, Kentucky, Culver Military, 28th and Market Street, flood damage, 1937 (Records of the Tennessee Valley Authority)

Hurricane Alex hit Mexico. Torrential rain overflowed Massachusetts. Flash floods devastated Arkansas. When the debris settles after such natural disasters, families will have to search their belongings for forms and documents that prove who they are and what they own. They’ll look for their photo albums and family trees, perhaps the family Bible, an important heirloom, or a hard drive with financial information stored on it. They’ll need to recover and repair those documents as best they can. But how?  And how do you make sure your documents are protected in the first place?

The National Archives is here to help. With over 75 years of preservation and recovery experience, the National Archives has repaired and preserved films, photos, files, wax cylinders, hard drives, papers, and yes, even the occasional Declaration of Independence–and we want to share our expertise with you, so you (and your documents) can weather any storm.

If you’ve been affected by a disaster, or want to know how to properly preserve and recover documents be they digital, leather, pulp or paper, visit our page on Records Emergency Information for tips and best practices. Or you can learn more about the Preservation Programs at the National Archives on our tailored Facebook page as well.

Just remember, the most important record to preserve is your life and the lives of others!

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