Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1996-1997 index

Distributed March 10, 1997
Contact: Linda Mahdesian

Freeze-drying and other tips

Preservation expert offers advice and resources to flood-area victims

Eric Shoaf, head of the preservation department for the Brown University Library, offers flood victims advice and resources to restore their water-damaged belongings and valuables.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- As flood waters continue to rise in the Ohio Valley and elsewhere, the inevitable problem of salvaging wet books, photos, furniture and other personal belongings awaits the flood victims. Eric Shoaf, who directs the preservation department for the Brown University Library system, offers the following advice.

"Whether it is a natural disaster or a burst pipe, you need to act quickly to stabilize your damaged belongings leading to recovery.... The greatest concern is mold growth. Damp conditions following a flood or leak are perfect for mold spores to bloom. This will happen within 48 hours, so it's important to act quickly to remove excess moisture, separate salvageable items, and prepare them for recovery," Shoaf said.

What to do

What not to do

Resources for help

Shoaf cited a number of large, national facilities, some of which serve individuals as well as institutions, but there are other sources of help as well. "Local universities can oftentimes provide assistance by preservation specialists in the area," Shoaf said. "Another possibility is city or state historical societies, which usually employ preservation experts. Large public libraries [may] have preservation departments with professionals to help."

Shoaf is available for interviews during regular business hours or on weekends by appointment. Contact the Brown News Bureau at 401/863-2476.

American Freeze-Dry Inc.
411 White Horse Pike
Audubon, N.J. 08106
Contact: John Magill
Services: 24-hour service, freeze drying, freezer storage

Blackmon Mooring Steamatic Catastrophe Inc.
303 Arthur St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
800/433-2940, 817/332-2770
Contact: Rebecca Cesa
Services: Freeze drying, vacuum drying, damage appraisal

DRS Disaster Recovery Services
414 Blue Smoke Court West
Fort Worth, Texas 76105
Contact: Larry Wood, Kirk Lively
Services: Cleaning of materials, mold removal, dehumidification

Document Reprocessors
5611 Water Street
Middlesex, N.Y. 14507
800/4-DRYING, 888/437-9464, 716/554-4114
Contact: Quinten Schwartz
Services: Drying, cleaning, freeze drying, freezer storage

Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, N.Y. 14650
Services: Film restoration advice and recommendations only

McDonnell Aircraft Company
Department 256, Building 102, Post L140
P.O. Box 516
St. Louis, Mo. 63166
Services: Thermal vacuum drying

Solex Environmental Systems
1003 Wirt Road/Suite 107
P.O. Box 460242
Contact: Don Hartsell
Houston, Texas 77055
Services: Air drying, dehumidification, moisture removal