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  • 10.13.14

A Disaster Preparedness Kit Designed To Display On A Bookshelf, So It’s Always In Reach

This kit is designed to be out in the open, so it’s easy to access in an emergency. It contains all you need to survive for a few days, including sporks.

Even if you live in a particularly disaster-prone place, you probably don’t have a disaster kit–most Americans don’t. If you do have one, there’s still a good chance you might not find it quickly during in an emergency.

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That’s why a new kit from Japanese design firm Nosigner exists to be easily accessible. It’s small enough to fit on a bookshelf, and it looks good enough that you’ll actually want to keep it there. “In existing disaster kits, there are few that are beautifully designed, and most tend to be left forgotten in the back of the closet,” says designer Eisuke Tachikawa.

The Second Aid Kit is about the size of a large dictionary, so in theory, it can stay in your living room rather than getting stuffed in a drawer or thrown in a garage. “It’s a compact size that fits perfectly in a bookshelf,” Tachikawa says.


Inside the kit are the basics necessary to survive comfortably until help arrives a few days after an earthquake or hurricane or tornado: Water, food, first aid supplies, towels to give yourself a makeshift shower, a “toilet kit” that makes a portable toilet, and a book with detailed information on what to do.

Just 40 hours after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, when thousands of people died and hundreds of thousands more were forced from their homes, Tachikawa launched OLIVE, a crowdsourced wiki of instructions and suggestions for dealing with the disaster. The best pieces of advice from the site have been gathered into the new kit.

“We made an abridged version of OLIVE into a book, gathering the information that’s especially useful during the first stages of a disaster,” Tachikawa explains. “The content reflects the voices of the victims of the disaster.”

For now, the kit is only available in Japan, with Japanese instructions, but the design team hopes to soon make it available in other languages.

About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.

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