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Disasters

Using the hand crank of the SOSCharger to provide power to an iPhone

When there's a natural disaster or bad storm, power outages are almost guaranteed. This can be an annoyance during a minor storm, but during a more serious disaster, a lack of power can mean not being able to get in touch with friends, loved ones, and in the worst of situations, help. The SOSCharger is designed to combat this by allowing users to keep their phone charged with a simple hand crank.  Read More

Google Maps recently added the evacuated town of Namie-machi to Street View as part of a l...

It's been over two years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami hit the nation's northeastern coast, devastating the population and creating a nuclear incident at the Fukushima power plant. Despite concentrated efforts to repair the damage though, there are still areas that remain vacant and almost untouched since – but that doesn't mean you can't still explore these places yourself. Google Maps recently added the evacuated town of Namie-machi to Street View as part of a larger project to document the destruction and restoration of areas affected by the earthquake.  Read More

Artist's impression of the interaction of the Sun and the Earth's magnetosphere (Image: NA...

Britain is better prepared for a solar superstorm than many countries, including the United States. The Royal Academy of Engineering has released a multi-disciplinary report on space weather’s impact on Britain, as part of the UK National Risk Assessment. The declassified portion of the assessment shows the level of UK preparedness in the face of severe solar storms, and outlines the dangers Earth faces from superstorms and how to avoid or mitigate damage.  Read More

Designed by Chen Yu Jung, Rely is a foldout sleeping domain for natural disaster survivors

Natural disasters cause millions of people to be displaced from their homes each year, so it's not surprising to see young designers putting their efforts towards creating accessible and economical solutions to ease the discomfort for such victims. The Softshelter, AbleNook and Carter Williamson’s Shelter are all great examples of such initiatives, and the Rely foldout sleeping domain is another one to add to the list.  Read More

The Center for Disaster Research is intended to provide intelligence when events such as e...

The University of Copenhagen has created the Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research (COPE), a hub of multidisciplinary expertise designed to improve management of natural disasters.  Read More

How the Macgyver robot will use found objects

In the television series Macgyver, the eponymous title character was notorious of being able to take a paperclip and some pocket lint and make an aircraft carrier out them. Now researchers at Georgia Tech want to give robots that same ingenuity. A team led by Professor Mike Stilman plans to create a “Macgyver bot” that can go into a disaster area and use whatever is lying around as tools to complete its mission.  Read More

DARPA's one-fifth scale prototype of the Captive Air Amphibious Transporter - walks on lan...

So the year is 2015, and you're in a serious disaster – one that requires the immediate provision of food, water, medical care, and shelter for a hundred thousand people. In other words, not something that a few airlifts will handle. If there is navigable water anywhere nearby, you could be saved by a future version of one of DARPA's new toys: the Captive Air Amphibious Transporter (CAAT).  Read More

FiRST is a new app from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, that advises first respo...

Imagine if you were a police officer who suddenly realized that the abandoned vehicle you were assessing contained a bomb. While you might have had some training in how to handle such situations, would it all easily come back to you in the heat of the moment? Well, even if it wouldn’t, you might still know what to do ... if you were using the FiRST app. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security developed the application for emergency response personnel, to serve as a step-by-step guide for managing bomb threats.  Read More

The Reaction Housing System deployed in a stadium parking lot (Photo: Reaction Housing Sys...

In a world where millions of people are forced from their houses every year because of natural disasters, there is an ongoing need for huge numbers of decent mid- to long-term temporary housing units that can be swiftly delivered to the affected area. The Reaction Housing System has been developed to make the wait as short as possible.  Read More

The SOS in a Box solar generator kit is designed with emergency and off-grid scenarios in ...

Sun Flare Systems is a Canadian company that has developed a solar-powered backup generator. Designed to provide power in cases of outage and disaster, the patent-pending SOS in a Box kit is basically a small, portable power plant that includes a backup generator, flexible high-efficiency solar panels, and a charge controller. Sun Flare says its solar generation package is the first FAA and Airline Approved generator of its kind.  Read More

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