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Flood tips for Queensland Artists, Collectors and General Public

January 13, 2011

Firstly, thank you for all the concerned texts we have been receiving here at Myrtle Street Studio regarding the flooding in Brisbane – we really do appreciate your concern and want to put your minds at ease.  We live in a hilly area at the Grange so I’m thankful to be able to say that the studio, press’s and our home are safe and sound.  The image above is of our local community organic gardens and location of the sunday markets.  Unfortunately it didn’t fare so well but being used to this now, the volunteers have a good flood plan and the new facilities have been built high enough to hopefully weather the flood.  You can see more photo’s here at their website – Northey Street City Farm.  The lady in pink was heading up to check on and feed the stranded chooks 🙂

Unfortunately, many people have not been so lucky and with the water set to rise again this afternoon I wanted to take this opportunity to impart some useful information to those of you who are being affected by the flooding.  This is especially for people who may have had to leave their homes without being able to take anything with them.

Some of the most important possessions in a home are paper-based – photographs, historical documents, certificates, artworks and the list goes on.  Some of these items may not have been digitized and may be irreplaceable.  If you are someone who is possibly going to be salvaging a flood devastated home in the coming weeks, I’ve quickly put together some information below which may be of assistance:

The State Library of Queensland:  has a conservation and preservation unit which has staff with excellent training in how to deal with water damaged paper-based work/documents.  Please note though that the SLQ itself has been affected by the flooding.  Currently the website is offline and the phone line to the department mentioned is engaged.  It would be best if possible to give the guys there some breathing space over the next couple of weeks to get themselves in order, they are still flooded in!

So, in the meantime, there are links below which will take you to some online information on what you can do in the meantime:

The National Archives of Australia have a page on what to do when recovering records from a flood.  The University of Nebraska (Lincoln) also has an excellent page on the cleaning and repair of water damaged paper, books and art.  World Printmakers also has some good general advice on caring for paper-based works and the Bishop Museum of Hawai’i  has a concise paper on disaster preparedness and recovery for works of art on paper.

I’m sure that much more information can be found online but this is a good place to start.  Also, if you find that you will need the assistance of a conservator in the coming weeks, please contact us as we know a few very good ones who we can recommend personally.

In the meantime, stay safe, off the roads so emergency services can do their jobs and wait for the water to subside fully before  attempting to retrieve precious items from your home.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2011 1:24 pm

    I am not in Queensland but this is a wonderful resource for people to use, I hope more people can put up interesting and useful tips like these. We in South Australia have been worrying about our friends up there and the horror of it all, so glad that at least you were not affected.

    • Jay Dee permalink
      January 13, 2011 1:33 pm

      Thanks Penny, I was hoping that this info would be useful so your comment is really appreciated. It is pretty devastating up here and will take a lot of work to clean the place up but at least in Brisbane here we had enough time to evacuate without anyone getting hurt. I feel particularly sorry for those upstream who did not have any warning of the flash flooding.

  2. Manu permalink
    January 13, 2011 5:33 pm

    Hi Jay Dee,
    I am glad to hear that you are well. I was thinking about you during the last days. The images are devastating, to see the destruction and grief this flood has caused is horrible. I really hope people will get enough support to be able to replace their homes. It’s a good idea to give some practical advise.

    • Jay Dee permalink
      January 14, 2011 9:39 am

      Thanks Manu, I’ve been wondering how you are going too! Yes, it is quite devastating and I’m just hoping people had adequate insurance on their properties. It will take a while to clean up the mess. Will deffinitley get in touch for a coffee when next down your way, xx Jay Dee

  3. January 14, 2011 5:03 am

    Glad to hear that you have stayed safe and dry. I thought you would be. x

    • Jay Dee permalink
      January 14, 2011 9:40 am

      Hi Thea! So good to hear from you. Hope you and yours are doing well too – yes, all safe xx

  4. January 15, 2011 2:24 pm

    What fabulous advice Jay Dee…
    always thinking! I will link this on my blog … excellent advice.

    I had some invaluable, old family photos in my car years ago when in an accident and I realised much later some could have been restored… I was young, very shaken and didnt think at the time.

    There’s nothing like god advice at the right time!
    Glad to know you were high and dry..did think so.
    Be seeing you,

    • January 17, 2011 9:24 am

      Hi Sophie! So good to hear from you and hope you are ok? And yes, please do link this on your blog – the more people who know what they can do, the better! xx

  5. January 15, 2011 2:33 pm

    Jay Dee, thank you for contributing such a useful post. It means a lot to people who have lost so much to be able to regain some personal possessions…

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