Seeing that devastated family house basement left a big impression on me. The destruction level of a flooded basement full of family memories was really high. 99% of everything in that basement is lost after a couple weeks in dirty, mucky river water and slick. Furniture destroyed after it floated freely in the dark water. When the water eventually recided, all of the stuff, even the heavy furniture pieces, got thrown around the rooms. A photo projector and dias, all in there containers, probably 40 years old, all destroyed. Photo albums completely returned to sticky pulp as the water dissolved the paper. When you try to pick it up, it all falls apart. Old board games, puzzle pieces, even a whole set of the classic electronic Battlefield game, all scattered around the water and covered in muck. The pieces kept coming towards the vacuum cleaner head while I was working to suck out the lower levels of the basement. We managed to get about 100 buckets of stinky dark river water out. Books were everywhere and also completely destroyed. It really hurt me emotionally to see all these family memoriabilia scattered and destroyed like that. Perhaps as a dad, it is one of my worst nightmares that our family memories would be returned to only that ... memories which eventually will be all forgotten and lost.
Never keep your precious things in your basement!