1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4

    Default Senior Thesis Project

    I'm a senior at Purdue University studying Industrial design and i'm working on my thesis project. I'm aiming my project towards flood disaster/rescue situations. I've only just begun my research, but thought posting my thoughts on some forums may stir up some sound advice/information.

    As of now, my project will be some type of deconstructable kayak which can be either dropped off by helicopter in some type of "pod" or possibly they'll set up in a line pre-storm. Don't know as of yet. The kayak will employ either one or two outriggers for stability as well as a sail for propulsion. Now, the uniqueness of this design goes as follows...

    -The rig will be able to collapse the sail down to form an on-water-shelter. This would allow people to spend several hours or perhaps a night on the water if they couldn't get to shore or help.
    -The rig would also be able to collapse down and be constructed again on land to serve as a temporary relief shelter. You could have a line of these for first-aid, food, general shelter...etc.
    - The rig would also have stretcher capabilities. I'm envisioning the stretcher going between the kayak's main hull and the outrigger.

    So what we would have in the end is a personal flood water craft that would be able to be deconstructed into both an on-water-shelter as well as a land shelter. It would also be able to transport the injured via stretcher. They would be able to be dropped wherever they needed to go and would be relatively easy to assemble.

    There's obvious areas for improvement/afterthoughts, but that's what I came here for. So let's hear it...

    Thoughts?Opinions?Advice...?

    -Jake

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Come on guys, I know you have thoughts about flood survival...Thoughts?

  3. #3
    Piney Power
    PineyPower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey, United States
    Posts
    331

    Default

    Simply put, stay away from the water. Whether that be migrating somewhere far enough away that the water won't affect you outside of the normal rain conditions or getting inside or to higher ground while flooding occurs is up to the population as individuals. From a psychological viewpoint, you can put a ton of people in the same predicament and you'll have a ton of different reactions and actions being taken. People react differently to a multitude of occurrences so a good way to show ways to survive a flood is find out what kind of actions are taken before, during, and after of various amounts of people affected in varying degrees from the predicament and show what's the most feasible and effective method(s). If you show what's highly effective and what's highly ineffective you'll be able to easily separate different approaches to surviving a flood.

    Honestly, there's a whole lot that can be done to survive a flood at any time. It's not all up to the individuals, though. Groups, agencies, organizations, and so on all play a huge part as well. The emergency services need to have plans for floods beforehand to implement when they occur to continue order, minimal damage, and survival. It also depends on what kind of staffing and available equipment/apparatus is available to those agencies at different times.

    There's just so much that can be said about this topic I can't even do it in one sitting on my own.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    johnny46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    2,094

    Default

    Sounds like a Transformer. Transformers are cool!
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Green Bay
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Best thing someone can do in a flood situation is to be out of the area. People get themselves in rescue situations for any number of reasons. Katrina was the fact many didn't listen to the warnings and then how many stuck around for other reasons, such as to loot etc. Many times you do have enough warning for a flood and can take precautions. Making some kind of kayak, would that really benefit people moreso than what we do already? You have trained professionals typically doing the rescues here, not some novice in a kayak where they can get themselves into some turbulent waters and harm or kill themselves, when waiting would have been best. In the end, perhaps the best thing to do is have a better plan in place. Also, with Hurrican Gustoff (sp) hitting New Orleans again, many more people did evacuate because of warning put up that anyone looting would go to jail as well as those breaking curfew. Takes away an incentive to stick around doesn't it?
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,063

    Default

    Canoes, Kayaks, sail-boats all have a common demoninator in a flood. They sink.

    Unless you are a kayaker, they are easy to flip and extraordinairly dangerous in a swift water situation. Also unless you are familiar they are difficult to get in and out of.

    I was recently involved in a large flood response, and actually spent half a day rescuing canoers and kayakers that put in and then went "oh shi*"

    In my experience, and most others floods and hurricane flooding are relatively predictable. People need to leave.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    497

    Default

    As other have stated - the idea of flood waters is to get out of the way.

    You solution poses a few major concerns.

    1) Complancency. If you have this - it becomes your safety net and you are more likely to be where you shouldn't

    2) Swift water. Simply put - most floods have lots of currents, turbulance and floating debris that would play havoc with an inexpierences person in any boat, let alone a canoe or kayak.

    3) Contamanents. You don't WANT to be in flood waters. Its a literal cesspool.

    lastly - turn on your PM's.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,586

    Default

    It's a bad idea in the context you are proposing...

    Emergency services have enough problems dealing with the whackjobs who refuse to evacuate. Putting them on the wateri in conditions that FNG descxribed puts our personnel at a much greater risk when we have to go "rescue" them.

    Put your idea into the water sports context.. a personal kayak/watercraft with a deployable tent/shelter for use on land... pitch the idea to LL Bean or any of the kayak manufacturers... you'll get a job on graduation.

    PS: don't forget my royalty checks!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    voyager9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    I'd have to ask who the intendid users are and what the intended use of this craft would be. Is it:
    1) For rescuers to rescue flood victims? There are probably better alternatives. Kayaks would be too unstable in flood conditions and I would NEVER strap a patient strapped in a backboard across the deck of my kayak, outriggers or no.. I believe that's BadWayToDie #231.
    2) For victims in water to survive flood conditions until rescued? This may be worthwhile concept but I would base it more on the existing life raft designs then a kayak. If there is a victim in the water that can't be reached for some time the priority is to get them out of the water, dry, and secure. Drop a raft that contains some food, water, dry blankets and a way to secure it from drifting.
    3) For victims not in water to survive flood conditions? If they're not in the water you just need food/water/medical supplies..etc. Getting them in the water to try to self-rescue would only make things worse.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the responses guys...Where to start...

    Firstly, I'd like to say that the first course of action is to always get out of the area in a flood disaster situation. Please don't take my project as a plea to keep people in the danger area only to provide a possible way out. This "rig" would only be dropped for the people who couldn't get out.

    I'm in the midsts of doing my research. This includes contacting some of the local emergency disaster guys as well as the Red Cross...for a general break down of what's involved. I'm looking into the current tent/relief structures, past hurricanes/floods, breaking down some of the current kayak types/materials, areas that are most prone to flood disaster, etc..etc..etc.. Basically trying to cover as much as I can...

    I also realize that a flood disaster comes with a lot of people in charge of doing the rescuing...It was said that this should just be left to the professionals. I agree absolutely, but you'll no doubt have people that the rescuers miss or can't find or can't get to...In this case I think it would be beneficial to have a rig that could get people out as well as provide shelter. Like everything else dealing with rescue/disaster, there's no doubt issues, but it's about making these issues smaller. What i'm saying is I think there's definitely a need for a device that would allow people to help themselves in a worse case scenario. Better than letting them sit there for days on end, no?

    Balance issues for kayaks and other canoe like devices...no doubt this is a reality. I think this is again about solving a problem and figuring out a way to make the rig more stable and reliable. This will be a part of the design process once I get to that step...

    As far as sports context...I thought about that originally, but it's not really solving a problem. It would be very cool and I think the final rig could be adapted to a sporting environment, but with all of the flooding disasters fresh in peoples minds I think pushing towards survival will get more interest. Either way CaptainGonzo-Royalty checks are on the way .


    So the concern of the flood waters being too unstable seems pretty evident. Maybe this is a rig that can only be used once the waters calm down a little? I mean, obviously you wouldn't be using this as the storm is still thriving, but I think it would still serve a purpose once things calm down and there are still people stranded.

    Realizing this may end up looking different from a kayak. I used the work "kayak" because I wasn't sure what my rig would turn into and it seemed like the most logical comparison.

    Bottom line...there are concerns for a rig like this one. However, I still think there's a real need for the possibility for a rig like this one.

    Just trying to work through my problem in a logical and concise manner. Please, no one think i'm being hostile or trying to create conflict as I refute or question some of your statements. If anything it'll make me (all of us for that matter) try to think of the problem in different ways.

    Thanks again for the reply's guys!! I really do appreciate the input.

    -Jake

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Shoot...realized I didn't know how to turn on my PM's. This forum is a little different than others. Anyone care to share where I can access this info...?

    -Jake

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Bla...Figured out how to turn the pm's on. Sorry for the triple post.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
    Posts
    6,329

    Default

    While I was reading Jake's post (hmmm did anyone else notice his name? hehe) I guess I had a vision more in tune with the type of rescue situations I've been exposed to, having grown up and/or lived near the Canadian Rockies (Jasper, Panorama, Lake Louise and Calgary) all my life and now living on Vancouver Island. I also had a short-term temporary clerical job for a few weeks with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, which gave me even more insight into the type of rescues that can happen in BC.

    So I was picturing the deployment of this "Rescue Kayak" in more of a backcountry/wilderness/coastal type rescue rather than in a flood situation. Guess I should have read the original post a bit more carefully.

    Your target market could still be Fire Departments, Emergency Services, National Parks (Provincial/State Parks?), Coast Guard etc. Just gear it more to places that have the potential for river rescues, hiking, backcountry, or other areas accessible by air but not from the ground.

    Well anyway, that's the civilian chick's view.

    Kinda of a mix between Jake and Gonzo's ideas.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,112

    Default

    Good concept, bad idea for emergency use.

    Like others have said, the idea is to stay away from floods. If people have have these things, people will think now they don't have to evacuate and if the water gets high, they can deploy this thingamajig and it will make up for their lack of preparation. People always think they will be ok in a flood and no need to evacuate or that they can drive through the water and it will be ok. This concept will just make the complacency worse.

    Like Gonz said....stay away from emergency service or emergency situations with this......

    I think you would be better off trying to sell your idea to LL Bean, Coleman, or some other outdoor/camping type company that they can sell at Cabela's or Gander Mountain as a kayak/shelter thing they can float down a river and then camp in it overnight. Then you can buy your own island!!!
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Firefighter Thesis Research for San Diego University.
    By Jetsettingfire1 in forum Career/Paid Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-14-2008, 11:02 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-16-2007, 01:22 AM
  3. Need Help With Senior Media Project. Topic: Firefighting
    By AaronYork in forum Probie House: The Place for Newbies
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-13-2007, 06:57 PM
  4. Fire Department Thesis Questions
    By stevens0721 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-11-2006, 09:56 PM
  5. Senior Project
    By CV639 in forum University of Extrication
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-17-2000, 02:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register