Thursday, February 18, 2010

Haiti's quake survivors don't wait for gov't plan - Yahoo! News

Haiti's quake survivors don't wait for gov't plan - Yahoo! News: "Haiti's government and aid groups have been wrangling for five weeks over a plan for housing earthquake survivors, but the people haven't waited."

Well, that tells you how useful most governments are at disaster reconstruction.

Picking a building site is rather important particularly in a disaster zone. Staying away from landslide and flood zones are important.

It is also important to setup an outhouse that will not pollute the neighborhood. That means 50 feet or more from any water sources and also that far from the kitchen.

Fouled water can sicken and kill a lot of people. After medical care it is the loss of basic hygiene that ends up killing a lot of people after a disaster. Salvaging soap, detergent and sanitizers like bleach is going to be really important afterwards.

A tent or tarp might be fine for the few few days, but after that you need to look at building something semi-permanent until your can get a permanent structure up. Sure, most of the time in the US, there'll be hotels and trailers for temporary housing but just in case.

There may be plenty of salvageable materials after a disaster. A typical house is made up of 2x4s, plywood and more useful items.

So what tools do you need? Hammers would be useful, and you should be able to salvage some nails from the debris. Watch your fingers.
You can also put wires from the walls, if the power is out, and use that to tie things together.
With a wrench you can transform the pipes into useful structural members.
You could pull the seats from cars to make a bed that isn't on the floor.

Look deeply at what is around you and there are an amazing number of alternate uses for everything around you. You're smart.