Flood Recovery Booklet

State Historical Society of Iowa

After the flood, DON'T

  1. Don't remove standing water in a basement too fast. If the pressure is relieved too quickly it may put undue stress on the walls.
  2. Don't dry buildings with mechanical dehumidifiers, which may draw out moisture too quickly and cause additional damage. Allow structures to dry naturally.
  3. Don't scrub or brush mud and other deposits from materials. This may cause further damage.
  4. Don't let water-damaged papers remain in wet boxes--remove water-damaged papers from wet boxes then air dry or freeze dry. (See below for drying procedures.)
  5. Don't open any books or albums that were completely submerged. (Wet paper is very weak and will tear.)
  6. Don't keep objects in dark, hot, stagnant air with high humidity--these conditions encourage mold.
  7. Don't try to separate bundles of saturated paper.

After the flood, DO:

  1. Do enhance drying out of buildings by carefully removing mud, standing water, and water-logged furnishings and debris.
  2. Do remove residual moisture gradually by allowing structures to dry naturally. Open doors and windows.
  3. Do document the damage for insurance purposes by taking notes or photographs.
  4. Do BEFORE removing items from water, prepare a clean, dry, well-ventilated temporary area for sorting and storing your objects. Wet objects should be moved only once because they are fragile, so setting aside such an area is vital.
  5. Do wear rubber gloves, and, if possible, a face mask, when handling items.
  6. Do provide support for damaged objects when moving them, such as a cart, or a flat, sturdy surface.
  7. Do call an expert if in doubt about how to salvage any materials.

State Historical Society of Iowa

402 Iowa Avenue
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
600 E. Locust
Des Moines, Iowa 50319