Like the Haitian earthquake of 2010, last year's Japanese tsunami disaster spurred designers to re-think what an effective, life-saving response might look like.
Focusing on providing a source of heat, water and food housed in rollable oil drum that can be converted into a stove, Eindhoven-based Japanese designer Hikaru Imamura's "Heat Rescue Disaster Recovery" kit reflects his belief that something as simple as heat and hot water may mean the difference between falling deathly ill or surviving.
According to Fast.CoDesign, the unit was inspired by his mother's volunteer efforts during the following crisis, where millions of people were left without shelter, electricity and water. In order to increase disaster preparedness, the Heat Rescue kit is contained within a sturdy oil drum that can be stored in homes or institutions, or rolled on-site as needed.
Like a massive rocket stove, there's an opening in the bottom of the drum which allows it to be converted to a wood-burning unit that can warm bodies or cook one of the 200 portions of pre-cooked meals, or the packages of freeze-dried rice. There's bottled water, towels, a manual, a pot and ladle, utensils and various useful tools included to help up to thirty survivors "reduce the negative effects of refuge life" for at least two days.
It's a pragmatic solution of supporting survivors where they may need it most, says Imamura:
In such harsh conditions, people are more likely to become ill, due to the mental stress and exhaustion encountered. Therefore, warming your body, as well as having access to hot meals, can provide mental encouragement.
Read more at Hikaru Imamura's site.