Anyone who has been through a flood will tell you that just about anything can be replaced except family photos. But now help is on the way.
Operation Photo Rescue, a nonprofit organization with a worldwide network of volunteers who help victims of natural disasters restore their photographs, will be in Houston this weekend.
Specialists from OPR will evaluate damaged photos on Friday (September 4) from 1 to 4:30 pm and Saturday (September 5) from 10 am to 4:30 pm at the Morris Frank Library, 10103 Fondren. The service is free and no pre-registration is required.
Anyone with photos damaged from the recent flooding may bring up to 25 photos to be evaluated for restoration. Photos that can be restored will be photographed and, at a later date, digitally restored and printed. Prints will be mailed to the owners at no cost. The original photo remains with the owner.
All photos should be dry and removed from picture frames and albums. Photos that cannot be extracted will be copied but the quality may suffer. Soaking may separate photos stuck together. Before soaking photo test a corner to see if the emulsion is stable enough to soak.
OPR was founded two photojournalists, Dave Ellis and Becky Sell, in January 2006 after flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina had devastated New Orleans. It has grown into a network of over 2,000 volunteers from across the globe. Volunteers from all 50 U.S. states and 76 other countries have returned over 10,000 restored photos to survivors of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and wildfires.
Watch this video about Operation Photo Rescue: