In the wakes of Harvey, Irma, and the most recent hurricane Maria, it is easy to see the need for fast and effective relief work.
But relief work from a small boat? I mean, you can’t even carry more than two tons of anything. And before you bring any relief to anyone, you have to 1) have survived the storm yourself and 2) be in a hurricane zone in hurricane season in order to respond. Furthermore, you would have to know what you are doing to not be a burden on anyone and actually be of help. What help could someone on a small boat actually bring?
While the risks are certainly present, I think there is a real possibility to travel by small (but seaworthy) boat to an area affected by a disaster and, with the proper training, offer three things: basic emergency medical care, fresh water, and a listening ear.
The boat itself would need to be a self-sufficient home base. And it would certainly help if the boat could get to shallow places and was able to be repaired by the operator in remote places. It would also have to have a desalinator watermaker to make fresh water from sea water. How much water? A basic model makes just over 700 gallons a day. Such a small venture would not make a big dent in a big city. But it might make a difference among a few people in a remote coastal village that would be among the last to get aid.
I know travelling to a crisis has its risks. And that we have much to learn about disaster relief if we want to be effective. But I am glad to know that the boat we are building and who we are becoming makes the possibility of disaster relief a reality.
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