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Emergency Floor aims to give refugees protection from the ground

emergency floor 2 floor3
Emergency Floor is made with pallets used to ship refief good to reugee camps. Image used with permission by copyright holder
Guess how many people need something as basic as a floor?

Last year, 38-million refugees fleeing conflict and natural disasters were forced from their homes, and many live in temporary camps where tent-like shelters provide little to no barrier between the families and the soil below, making them susceptible to parasitic infections, waterborne diseases, and hypothermia.

An Indiegogo campaign for the Emergency Floor aims to change that with a low-cost floor made from wooden shipping pallets used for relief materials covered with a modular flooring material. If those in refugee camps didn’t have to sleep on the cold and dirty ground, it would help prevent many diseases, the creators say.

Emergency Floor started while co-founders Scott Austin Key and Sam Brisendine were both Masters students at Rice University’s School of Architecture. Since graduation they have formed their social enterprise, Good Works Studio, to utilize the power of design to solve pressing problems in the world.

After their floor design caught the attention of the Innovation Team at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), they were invited by Better Shelter to Sweden to test their flooring in one of its shelters.

The Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) at USAID has selected Good Works Studio for a $150,000 grant to send Emergency Floor systems into refugee camps where people desperately need floors. As a part of that grant, they must raise $50,000 of their own, hence the Indiegogo campaign, which seeking donations of $75 and up.

Perks include an Emergency Floor shirt, mini Emergency Floor kit, and a founder’s dinner, where chef David Foong of the Paper Co cafe will prepare a meal in Houston.

You can help raise awareness by taking a picture of yourself getting off the ground in any fun or creative way. Share this photo with the caption and hashtag #getofftheground #emergencyfloor on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Steve Castle
Steve Castle’s fascination with technology began as a staff writer for luxury magazine Robb Report, where he reported on…
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