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Disasters


— Good Thinking

Ghost town: Post-earthquake Fukushima added to Google Street View

By - March 29, 2013 12 Pictures
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
— Space

Royal Academy of Engineering says UK better prepared for solar superstorm

By - February 12, 2013 5 Pictures
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

Disaster relief kit rolls into a portable carry pack

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
— Robotics

Georgia tech developing "Macgyver" robot

By - October 11, 2012 3 Pictures
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
— Military

DARPA releases video of floating tank-like CAAT vehicle

By - August 22, 2012 2 Pictures
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
— Military

Homeland Security releases an app for bomb threat response

By - June 25, 2012 1 Picture
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
— Environment

SOS in a Box rolls out the solar power when you really need it

By - June 7, 2012 3 Pictures
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
— Good Thinking

Earthquake-proof school desk provides cover for natural disasters

By - April 25, 2012 12 Pictures
Anyone who has been through earthquake drills in school knows the standard defense against falling debris is for students to crawl under their desks. Unfortunately, while this might block a few pieces of stray drywall and glass, a wooden desk isn't going to withstand the crushing weight from large chunks of concrete or steel. In fact, people hiding under their desks could very likely become trapped with no way out. That's why two designers have developed an "earthquake-proof" desk that can absorb the impact of up to a ton of weight and even provide emergency routes for rescue crews to reach trapped students. Read More
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