Designing for Disaster: 15 Ideas for Preparedness & Response

Crack Mask
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This little red emergency mask can be cracked apart in the event of a fire and held up against the face to prevent smoke inhalation, an especially dire need in the event of a subway fire. The Crack Mask contains a water capsule that breaks when you open it, and can be stored long-term inside every train car. Why isn’t this already a thing?

Woven Dome Homes
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The Weaving a Home project places beautiful woven shelters made of structural fabric in areas of the world where people have been displaced. Lightweight and mobile, it includes integrated water collection, solar water heating and solar power collection. Water piping and power cables can be threaded through the laters of strong waterproof cloth.

LEGO-Inspired UNICEF Bricks
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Strong enough to withstand being dropped from overhead, these LEGO-inspired bricks contain water in one compartment and rice in the other, so survivors can use them for immediate relief and then fill them with soil or sand and stack them into a shelter.

Flat Pack Tables Fold Into Shelters
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Developed specifically for schools in Japan where there’s a risk of tsunami, ‘Origami Houses’ by Architecture Global Aid start out as flat-pack outdoor tables and then fold into emergency housing when needed.

Pop Up Shelter by Designnobis
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Designnobis created this pop-up emergency shelter after noting the lack of safe, clean places for displaced earthquake victims in their native Turkey. An aluminum frame supports a molded fiberglass roof and floor and insulated, weather-resistant fabric walls. The whole thing – including furniture for two adults and two children – packs down to the roof and floor so that 24 units can fit on a single semi-truck.