A Flood Preparedness Kit made out of strips of ductape on a 6 x 8 foot tarpaulin.
It provides four multi-functional transformations:
1 - A calendar providing information on average monthly water levels and temperatures.
2 - An information board providing information on storm signals, wind strength, emergency hotlines, and proper safety measures.
3 - A supplementary emergency toolkit that can hold various important tools and items for flood safety and survival.
4 - And a 6 x 8 foot SOS Distress Signal that can aid in search and rescue as well as protection against harmful elements.
It is designed to be placed in public schools in the Philippines and other designated evacuation shelters in respective barangays (communities). It also aims to educate the community about flooding, the factors that affect it and proper precautionary measures to ensure safety.
Senior Project Adviser:
The project aims to solve the lack of information on flood safety and preparedness in flood-prone communities in the Philippines. I aimed to create a supplemental kit to be placed in public schools and other designated evacuation centres in Filipino communities.
The project educates the community about flooding, its causes, and precautionary measures that can be done to avoid any harms through its four transformations:
The calendar provides information on average monthly water levels and average high and low temperatures, which affect storm and flooding intensity. The calendar was designed to be easily customisable whenever significant updates on water level and temperature numbers are needed.
II. Information Board
The information board provides information on storm signals, wind strength, emergency hotlines, and proper safety measures. It's insert on the bottom right corner contains comprehensive information on safety measures which is also translated in the native Tagalog language.
III. Survival Kit
A supplementary emergency toolkit that can hold various important tools and items for flood safety and survival
IV. SOS Distress Signal
The 6 x 8 foot SOS Distress Signal that can aid in search and rescue as well as protection against harmful elements.
Being born and raised in the Philippines made me aware of the lack of education about flooding and safety measures to avoid the harms that it causes. Having experienced strong storms and heavy flooding, I have noticed a constant pattern of losses and fatalities that could have been easily avoided if proper education and safety precautions were available to flood prone communities.
My research involved gathering the most recent data on flooding precautions as well as the factors that affect storm and flooding intensities. I thought about my project as a way to relay information to communities so I gathered data from PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration), along with safety precautions during storms from NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council).
Poster booklets and print signatures inspired me to think about how the ideas of conveying different information as it folds/unfolds can be integrated into the flood kit. This made me think about various materials that can be folded while still remain durable and weather resistant.
Information Design Iterations
After gathering all information I needed for the kit, I had to design the information so that it would fit in a 6 x 8 foot tarpaulin that will be folded in various ways. I divided the information into different sections based on a timeline of when it is needed as well as the function I intend for each transformation.
Information on monthly water levels and temperatures were put into the poster-sized calendar, information on storm intensities and comprehensive information on safety precautions were included on the information board. The third and fourth transformation focused more on acting as supplemental materials that can improve safety during flooding. The toolkit acts as a storage for various tools and materials essential for safety and survival while the distress symbol can aid in search and rescue as well as providing supplemental protection against harsh elements.
Open Source / Replication
My intent for the project was to allow the community to replicate or add into the kit which is why I used materials that are readily available in the community. A template that aids in the replication of the kit is readily available online. The kit itself also allows customisation with the spaces provided and it is also updatable as ductape strips can be peeled off and replaced with a more updated or more comprehensive information.
I was inspired by the "No Waste" Issue published by Pentagram papers which was lent to me by my instructor Ana Llorente. The book showcased how communities in Cuba became creative in using recycling resources that were already considered as junk and re-using them to provide various functional purposes.
This made me think about what type of materials should be used for the flood kit that will allow communities to become more involved with the project and to also be inspired in becoming resourceful and creative.
The initial idea for printing the information on the tarpaulin was to use printed type on vinyl through a large format printer. However, this solution was not in line with my project goals which is to create a material that allows more interactivity and community involvement. Not to mention, the cost and permanence of using vinyl makes it less sustainable.
This made me think about using ductape strips instead of vinyl. They are both adhesive but using ductape strips to form the letters and the information blocks allow further customisation and updates that can be done by the people in the community.
Education / Information Design
The idea to use ductape instead of vinyl had its own sets of challenges, which turned out to have made the entire kit better. I had to take out comprehensive information and focused on finding out how I can visualise date into simple forms and shapes that are both understandable and easily reproducible by only using strips of two-inch thick tape.
The project made me think about not relying too much on letterforms and making sure that every shape on the tarpaulin successfully conveys helpful information.
One of the main goals of my project is to help the community become more informed, and in turn, more prepared for flooding. Storms in the Philippines have become increasingly strong and it is vital to educate society about its harms and the ways that they can prevent it.
The project not only provides the essential information for precautions but it also transforms into a useful supplemental kit that can provide tools and materials that ensure safety.
Since public schools are also designated evacuation centres in the Philippines, I also aimed for the project to educate and inspire students not just on flooding but also on resourcefulness and different ways in designing and visually communication information.
The use of ductape strips instead of vinyl allows the community to participate in the improvement and customisation of the template, making the kit their own and allowing them to learn more from it while also helping their community become more informed and safe against flooding and its harms.