Preservation experts from the Smithsonian Institution will be available today to help Harvey victims learn how they can salvage.

The experts will be in Beaumont Thursday with the Heritage Emergency National Task Force and will be available much of the afternoon at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Beaumont.

The experts offered advice on handling, drying and cleaning potentially salvageable heirloom items such as photos, artwork, quilts, important documents and other keepsakes.

Damaged photos can be restored by allowing them to sit in distilled water for 20 to 30 minutes and then using a paint brush to remove any leftover mold. The same method can be used to restore damaged books.

There is data that shows when people reconnect back to their cultural heritage, they are able to return back to normal,” said Teddy Reeves, a Curatorial Specialist of Religion at the Smithsonian.

If you would like more information on how to salvage treasures, click on the links below.

MORE | Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Heirlooms

MORE | Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative

The Smithsonian experts will be available from 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 5, at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in the former Goodwill store at the Gateway Shopping Center at 3871 Stagg Drive in Beaumont.

From FEMA...

Survivors of Hurricane Harvey can learn how to salvage household treasures damaged by the storm from Smithsonian Institution preservation experts visiting three State of Texas/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) this week.

Among the heirlooms that might be salvageable are photos, artwork, quilts, important documents and other keepsakes.

The experts will discuss how to handle, dry and clean these items, as well as personal safety during the salvage process, setting priorities and treatment options.

Part of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, the Smithsonian experts are visiting these locations:

Tuesday, Oct. 3
Katy Mills Mall Parking Lot
5000 Katy Mills Circle
Katy, TX 77494
11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 4
263 Greenspoint Mall
12300 North Freeway
Houston, TX 77060
11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 5
Unit 166 (former Goodwill store)
Gateway Shopping Center
3871 Stagg Drive
Beaumont, TX 77701
11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Smithsonian Institution, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force is a partnership of 42 national service organizations and federal agencies.

It was created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. For more information on the task force, email

For more information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page, the FEMA Harvey Facebook page, the @FEMARegion6 Twitter account, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management website.