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Cash (With no power, banks and ATMs may be closed or empty, and checks and credit cards will not be accepted). Photo or video pictures of property (Photographs will make it easier for your claims adjuster to make an assessment of what you may have lost due to a disaster. This blog post wraps up our CBEL project, summarizing our achievements, contribution to the community and what we learned as a team. On Monday March 25 we held a poster presentation for our client, showcasing our project scope, constraints, brainstorming ideas, and finally our final product.
We contributed to the community by designing and implementing a post disaster emergency kit for our client, Eric Molendyk. In terms of project context we have learned that it can be very hard to meet your client’s needs exactly and changes may be needed throughout the project. With project planning our team always had a tough time with reaching final decisions and from this we each learned a lot about teamwork and also respecting each other’s opinions. Lastly, with project implementation we learned that everything does not always go according to plan as we originally thought up. Since this is our concluding blog post, we would like to give a special thanks to our client Eric Molendyk, Pat Tweedie, the National Program Coordinator of Tetra Society of North America, Shalaleh Rismani, our mentor and Susan Nesbit, our course instructor. After meeting with our client Eric, we figured out the locations of the kits are supposed to be.
As a group we are very proud that we were able to stick to the original timeline and got all the work done on time. The most important achievement that was accomplished in the last 2 weeks was purchasing the items while being on budget and assembling the kit so that everything fit properly. As a group we have brainstormed many ideas for a possible emergency preparedness kit for our client.
The amount and type of water placed in the kit so that it will fit and also not go bad, the amount of food for three days after an emergency which has to be non-perishable so that it can stay in the kit for some time like granola bars, and the content for our first aid kit, if the content should be hand picked and placed or not. After 2 weeks on brain storming on Feb 8 we finally agreed on some primary contents for the bag.
Currently, the Tetra Society has 45 chapters and 300 plus professional volunteers throughout North America, and their services are customary for each client.
The scope of this project is mainly to design and implement a post disaster emergency kit for a client with cerebral palsy,   it is also important to make sure our client understand the kit in order to make effective use of its contents.  The goal for this project is to exercise our capacity to help others with our engineering knowledge, and to ultimately increase the survivability of our client Eric in the case of an unforeseen disaster. In order for us to successfully complete this project, it is important to maintain a constant line of communications with our mentor and our client. Tetra Society of North America is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 in Vancouver, BC.
In this project, we are designing an emergency kit for our client, Eric Molendyk, which he can access in case of an earthquake or similar disaster. Many people were intrigued by our project with different professors and clients coming up to speak to us. One of our first tasks was to come up with the contents of the kit; this took quite a bit of research and extra thought.
We were able to use our engineering knowledge and expertise to increase the survivability of our client in the case of an unforeseen disaster.
At first our client wanted only one emergency preparedness kit safely secured in his home that would be of immediate assistance in the case of an emergency. There were many cases throughout the project where team members would disagree with other member’s ideas, and it was not always easy to settle these arguments. For the large kit that was supposed to placed beside the door and bigger space, we decided to use a metal hook. As mentioned in the last blog, we were able to gather all the items on time and on budget for both the small and large kits. Eric suggested having the kit either hanging near the door or placing it beside his computer desk.


What we would like to accomplish in the final weeks is finding the best way to secure the bag so that it’s easy to reach and requires very little modification to Eric’s surroundings. It was not easy to finalize some of the items in the kit since our group had came up with many great ideas but we still needed to keep within our budget so some decisions had to be made. Sam was a quadriplegic, and so he could not easily do many daily tasks, such as showering on his own.
This way we ensure that everybody is on the same page with regards to the progress of this project. The kit will be designed so that it will be easily accessible, with personalized content which suit our client’s needs. Eric has cerebral palsy, and one of the results from this condition is that he is unable to bear any weight on his legs for any length of time.
Like everyone else here, I am a second year civil engineering student, and I look forward to working on this project. I’m originally form Iran and my father is a structural engineer back home so I am planning on continuing my studies in the field of structural engineering. In the end we believe we came up with the best combination of items possible to meet Eric’s needs during an emergency situation.
Also as we stated earlier, we were able to raise awareness of post disaster preparedness to members of the community by our poster session. Given the projects constraints such as the limited space in his home, and his limited range of motion, our team decided to make two kits. Towards the end of this project our team was much better with making decisions and respecting each other’s opinions.
The first kit we purchased was too large and considering Eric’s limited space we were not able to find a suitable place to secure the kit. The metal hook we found can hold up to around 30 pounds. Which for the set up required little modification to Eric’s apartment wall. However, after inspection we found that the kit we have will not fit into the space beside the desk; so we decided to make one small kit and one large kit. After visiting Eric’s home we have thought of a few places where the kit can be placed and could be easily accessible. The technique our team has used to rule out some of these implausible ideas are by taking a vote amongst the team and doing some research online on things we weren’t sure about. Although the cost of each item has been considered through out the project decisions, on Feb 15, a rough estimate was made for us to work on.
Tetra’s goal is to provide the best custom service to individual clients, and to reduce their societal and environmental barriers. Also, we would put emphasis on researching about the composition of our emergency kit, including its content and location, to maximize its value to our client. In each project, Tetra creates devices that help people gain easier access within household and public facilities. Currently, he is dependent on a wheelchair for his mobility, which could prove to be a problem if a disaster strikes. My hobbies out side of class are playing the guitar, baking chocolate cake and of course watching TV! I completed my first year program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and I transferred to UBC in September 2012. A larger kit, which contained all necessary items, was placed in his main hallway and a smaller kit was secured for his room. As a group we quickly learned that we should not be making any major decisions or purchases without being completely sure.
The smaller kit was hanged on a plastic hook sticked to the desk and required no mortification Eric’s desk and so the ideal solution. As for the contents inside the kit, we have come up with many items which are a necessity in case of an emergency.


As for the kit itself, we decided to go with a soft kit instead of a hard kit as it would be more easily accessible to our client and also it wouldn’t break if it fell on the ground. This phase is by far the hardest since it limits us from adding more content if it were needed and also finding the contents so that it would exceed our budget. By installing sample devices in his apartment, there is a great improvement in accessibility.
Tetra’s assistive devices help their clients increase the access within the households (Kitchens, bedroom and bathroom) and other environments (vehicles, public places), to improve the quality of their life.
We would also test and modify our designs of the kit on a regular basis to improve its functionality to the best of our abilities.
We will be helping Eric by designing a preparedness kit for use during emergencies such as earthquakes. At this point I am trying to keep my options open for what I wish to pursue later on, because I feel the need to work in the industry first before deciding what I really want to do.
Unfortunately that makes the outdoors somewhat of a bane of my existence, but fortunately Vancouver weather is very forgiving and often gives me plenty of reason to stay indoors and cuddle up at home with some fresh bread and nice tea.
Everything went according to plan as we met all deadlines and safely secured our two kits in Eric’s home. After this mistake we did not purchase anything until Eric agreed with our interim report, which included all contents of the kit.
Furthermore, we have to think of a way to secure the bag without having it on the ground by the time we have our next meeting with Eric on March 10. These items are: water, flashlight, blanket, whistle, glow stick, first aid kit, dust mask, and granola bars.
As none of us was sure how much water a human needs to survive, one of our group members did research and discovered it is more probable to have two liters of water in the kit. We have also chosen to go with bottled water with a squeeze cap as our client is only able with one arm and cannot open a twisting cap. The collaboration did not stop; they continued to work together to help other people with disability. Tetra operates 45 chapters across North America, and it has over 300 expert volunteers ready to serve. I am genuinely an active person and enjoy playing basketball and swimming outside of classes.
Lastly we believe we have raised awareness to the community about disaster response situations during our poster presentation session.
We believe our client was very happy with our change to his original requests since we were well below our $200 budget and securely placed not one, but two kits in his home. We also measured the area where we were deciding to place our kits so that it was not too small for the kits we were planning on purchases. For the location of the kit in Eric’s home we have narrowed it down to somewhere in his kitchen or bedroom. This would be an ideal place to put the kit because this is where he will be mostly at his house. Another choice we have made is to keep the kit some place of arms length away so he can easily access it.
We immediately ruled out putting it somewhere on the ground as it word be hard for him to access it during an emergency.




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