Tag Archives: disaster

Citizens Helping Citizens

As we move into winter my thoughts turn to the weather… most winters bring floods to Snoqualmie Valley with some years taking out both roads that cross the valley.  A few years ago, our small town was an island with flood water covering all roads.  During the floods, a few of us volunteer for community service as HAM radio operators, medical assistance, setting up shelters… a lot of needs for daily life continue with no regard for floods or any other disaster that might happen.

I decided to create a video about the folks that volunteer to help their fellow citizens.  Organizations like Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and of course the Amateur Radio Service (HAM’s) all provide services for us.  My video project will focus on these groups to show the background, what they do – why they feel almost compelled to help and what equipment they carry around.

The video project will be using Kickstarter.com – this is a crowd-sourced funding site where people can read about various projects and help finance the project if they like it.  Many project (most) offer “rewards” of some type for those wishing to help.  We do the same offering copies of the DVD and since I’ll be investigating “emergency” bags, we’ll offer these for a reward at a certain level.

I will be posting video clips and images from the video project as it matures so check back from time to time…



One of my major projects involves creating a web-based platform that unites us all in a quest to solve problems.  Or you might see it as software to help us accomplish goals by helping to define the topic or goal, set milestones, find others with like interests and help with resources and planning until we accomplish the goal.

In order to develop the software, we decided to find a focus point to help us better define features, benefits and an interesting user interface – given that my colleagues have a background with environmental causes and law, we choose the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan and the problems with fuel rods and contaminated ground water.  Here’s a blog site from my colleague, Julian Gresser, discussing the problem: http://www.explorerswheel.com/blog/generating-solutions-fukushima

Wow – this is turning into chaos.  The problems in Japan are enormous and our hope is to unite minds from all of humanity to find new and innovative solutions, ideas and suggestions about how to handle the crisis.  From this project, we will build an amazing piece of software to help with other projects like clean-water projects, building hospitals or schools and many, many others.

But Fukushima is getting scary.  Even with no further interruption from nature, the problem is severe enough.  Now a typhoon – maybe the biggest in 10 years is about to hit the plant.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/15/us-japan-typhoon-idUSBRE99E09H20131015

If those fuel rods are exposed or the water storage tanks are damaged, God help us all.  Welcome to the 21st century disasters.