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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Three weeks left to get tents to the homeless

There are only three weeks left to get shelter to the three million homeless people in Kashmir and the North West Frontier Province.

The first snowfall is expected in mid-November and the UN WHO has warned that survivors may die of hypothermia if they still have no shelter by then.

Around 540,000 tents are needed to protect homeless survivors from the harsh Himalayan winter. Officials fear that they will be around 200,000 tents short.

source: Islamic Relief
5 Comments Post a Comment
Blogger ICEKNIFE said :

From a letter I sent to Tents for Quake, as part of an on-going conversation:

Right now I'm working on getting some students from U.C. Berkeley and Berkeley High School to raise money for your effort.

-

We're also trying to set up quilting circles. The plan is to send quilts and heavy blankets, sewing equipment, heavy canvas thread, canvas loops, pictographic instructions, waterproofing, and patterns for clothing, duffle bags, sleeping bags, and suspension tents.

Including a couple dozen such kits and a couple dozen quilts or heavy blankets with a tent turns that tent into a potential tent making center. When double layered and sewn together, anything from spare cloth to straw can be used for insulation. The waterproofing aspect is tricky, but if all else fails, we can send paraffin wax.

**********

The rest of the letter was about their efforts.

The reason we're doing both fund raising & quilt kit manufacture is because all the rich people feel they gave enough to Katrina and Rita, so only people of modest means are willing to help. Quilting is an honored american tradition, and it can save lives.

I'm looking for patterns that are public domain, or for pattern makers willing to donate their patterns for free to relief work. If anyone finds any, please let me know, and I'll do the same.
Drop a note here, or write me at iceknife@lmi.net .

Thanks!

John

October 27, 2005 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Ejaz Asi said :

I just can't believe its all happening. Any one who says we have mroe than a week is a fraud. I have been to the Muzaffarabad areas, balakot and Bagh and let me tell you something which media might not have said so far - these people are not going to survive tents, not at least major portion of the left-over population. Healthy and active volunteers like us had to use two blankets and a sleeping bag during night. Sure, these people are tough but don't forget they are under-nourished, hungry and above all broken. You need to send them new and hygienic blankets along with heavy tents that can survive snow and rain. These tents don't guarantee warmth and heat that these people desperately need. Kids having hypothermia are going to die soon if they don't get treated instantly and I mean alot of them. Scabbies is another annoying disease these people are suffering from in a large no. And did I say Mental Trauma? Why the hell the government doesn't arrange a therapist with every single team that arrives these places. I saw doctors collapsing right infront of the rubble, volunteers panicking and vomiting all the way back after burying deadbodies that were left un-attended.

October 27, 2005 9:41 PM  
Blogger ICEKNIFE said :

There's a well designed and tested artic tent pattern HERE , it sleeps three adults, and is rated for subzero weather. The homepage is also a good reference for many other important survival items people can make themselves. Very good site, has full instructions.

While blankets sent don't have to be new, they do have to be machine washed in water hotter than a human hand can withstand, and can't be worn through or badly patched. Any patches have to be double patched, that is, patched properly on both sides.

Tent exteriors made from cloth have to, at minimum, have a thick coat of mixed paraffin and bees wax. Liquid rubber waterproofing compound is preferable for long term use, but outgasses nasty fumes for a few weeks after application. Wax also has the advantage of allowing use of natural insecticides like eucalyptus, scotch bonnet juice, or garlic, and sandalwood, floral oils, or other masking scents, in the waterseal.

The hides of yak, bison, and other wooly animals can be used for tenting, but deer hide is no good for extreme cold. That's why my tribe traditionaly made our Winter lodges from bearhide instead of buckskin. Cloth tents can be used if the cloth is heavy or quilted, and doubled, with the space between filled with insulating material.

Insulating material can be anything from newspapers to old socks, but goose down or fiberfill is best. From easily found local materials, wool is best, and tightly bound straw can also be effective if placed properly.

Torn clothes and blankets aren't useless if you have needle, heavy thread, scissors, and maybe a thimble. The salvageable portions can be used for quilting. Large pieces are used for segments, small scraps are used for filler. Clothing, including one-piece snowsuits with clothknot buttons, can be made from quilting, as can duffelbags, hammocks, and tents.

Previous disasters seem to have made the rich feel as if they'd done enough, so most of the people still willing to help around here are folk of modest means. It takes donations from a hundred of them or more to buy a single tent, but some of them sew, and are willing to do it often. Quilting is an honored tradition is many cultures, and has often been used as a social activity. We have a church in my neighborhood that has a quilting circle, and those twelve elderly people use four sewing machines to make four to six high quality fancy quilts in an average of four and a half hours. Making simple quilts by hand takes about five times as long.

Two layers of quilt seamed together on three sides can easily be used for sleeping bag, duffel bag, or tent making. Clothing is different because it requires reinforcement sewn quilting with small panels.


John

October 28, 2005 12:39 AM  
Blogger ICEKNIFE said :

Whups! Sorry, my bad, the side with the excellent links to homeade camping gear is HERE .

Catagories listed:

BACKPACKS
SHELTERS
STOVES
COOKWARE
SLEEPING
ACCESSORIES


John

October 28, 2005 12:58 AM  
Blogger SeƱor Nutzo Bhai said :

I have been working on a similar drive but with dome structures (http://www.domesintl.com/) made in India. The proprietor is willing to work at cost. A nice aspect of the domes is that they are nicely insulated, incredibly rugged, and could provide communal retreat space from the harshest cold and wind. A dome can be erected and weatherproofed in little over three hours with a three-person team. Have had one NGO interested in purchasing 1,500 of the units but they are very slow in responding. I will be leaving for Islamabad on Oct. 31st and want to help in any way I can. If anyone has ideas how I can be of service please let me know. I will carry blankets, tents, domes, whatever.

October 28, 2005 11:36 PM