While many Houston homes were damaged by Hurricane Harvey, there are some things that can not be so easily replaced, such as family heirlooms or antiques with sentimental value.

This is why experts from the Smithsonian Institution stepped up to lend their unique experience to Texan families.

Preservation specialists from the institution took up residence at three different State of Texas/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) to help hurricane survivors restore their damaged valuables.

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“Among the heirlooms that might be salvageable are photos, artwork, quilts, important documents and other keepsakes,” says the FEMA website.

“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.”

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The specialists say that if you have precious family photos that have become moldy or stuck together from the flooding, you can safely peel them apart by soaking them in distilled water for 30 minutes. The same can be done with books – although you will have to keep an eye on how the pages dry.

All of these tips and more can be downloaded to your phone via the free Emergency Response and Salvage App.

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