13 March 2011

Recovery Technologies ~ Post-Disaster Action...

Post-quake, with over a thousand kilometers of tsunami-devastated Japanese coastline, dozens of harbor towns 40-80% destroyed, thousands of cars, trucks, and containers water-damaged and ravaged, millions of tons of rubble left strewn about, hundreds of boats left high and dry, key consumables such as food, liquid fuels, and clean water in scarce supply, reduced electricity power generation affecting 2/3 or ~100M citizens, and more, there's an intensely urgent need for extraordinarily effective Recovery Technologies -- those tools and systems which can accelerate clean-up, provide fast infrastructure, and enable rapid redevelopment. Immediately after the Haiti quake a little over a year ago this first really came to my attention. Among the compelling examples are Dutch firm Tempohousing, which supplies prefab container sheltering, and there are other urgent solutions to speed up local recovery with power generation, water cleansing, and related containerized infrastructure. There are also tools for clean-up and recycling of material. And finally, any rebuilding should be done with future damage minimization in mind. This means designing for flood resilience much like structures are built to endure vibrational modes. The question is not can you avoid quake or tsunami, but how can you suffer least from them.

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