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Old 01-16-10, 05:15 AM   #1
MichaelW
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Distributing aid supplied in earthquake zone by bicycle

So all this aid is piling up at Port au Prince airport in Haiti and they cant get it out to the population because there are no trucks and the roads are full of rubble.

One of the pics I saw was of a guy on a cheap MTB cycling past the rubble. There are bikes undamaged, there are plenty of fit, young men. Extra bikes could be landed by small boat without the need for a sophisticated harbour or lifting equipment. Broken bridges can be repaired with planks of wood.
Ho Chi Min managed to create a pretty resiliant logistics chain on two wheels.

Im really surprised that all the various aid agencies with all their experience over many decades and many disasters haven't thought to use the simplest means to get their job done.

This would free up resources so that the heavy lifting gear could be flown in or driven overland without the roads getting clogged up with all the small stuff.

I thought I might post this up since a good search of "distributing emergency aid by bicycle" doesn't show any relevant results.

Last edited by MichaelW; 01-16-10 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 01-16-10, 05:32 AM   #2
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Some refs:
The Japanese Railways Major Earthquake First Response Manual suggests that after and earthquake, first responders use bicycles to get to their HQ.

Various Californian Emergency preparedness manuals advise using bicycles.
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Old 01-16-10, 05:38 AM   #3
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I've wondered about that very question.. Something to watch out for in urban areas.. Downed power lines..
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Old 01-16-10, 07:23 AM   #4
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We did this in Nicaragua when Reagan set up and embargo that blocked gasoline/petrol supplies. We sent down 3-speed bikes we had fixed to perfect running shape in shipping-containers for emergency workers to use to get around on. Doctors, nurses, so forth.

The same can be done for Haiti.

The folks at Bikes Not Bombs - website?Google - may be able to help.
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Old 01-16-10, 12:44 PM   #5
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Because it's hard to outrun looters on a fully loaded MTB, whereas a truck, with someone literally riding shotgun, is a lot safer.

The first rule of aid is making sure that the aid providers are safe, as injured aid workers only add to the problems.

It may be a great idea once they get past the initial period of chaos / civil unrest though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
So all this aid is piling up at Port au Prince airport in Haiti and they cant get it out to the population because there are no trucks and the roads are full of rubble.

One of the pics I saw was of a guy on a cheap MTB cycling past the rubble. There are bikes undamaged, there are plenty of fit, young men. Extra bikes could be landed by small boat without the need for a sophisticated harbour or lifting equipment. Broken bridges can be repaired with planks of wood.
Ho Chi Min managed to create a pretty resiliant logistics chain on two wheels.

Im really surprised that all the various aid agencies with all their experience over many decades and many disasters haven't thought to use the simplest means to get their job done.

This would free up resources so that the heavy lifting gear could be flown in or driven overland without the roads getting clogged up with all the small stuff.

I thought I might post this up since a good search of "distributing emergency aid by bicycle" doesn't show any relevant results.
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