Oct
19
2005

Better emergency response?

With all the natural disasters in the news lately-Katrina, Rita, the earthquake in Pakistan—doesn't it seem like someone should have invented a way to package the essentials of emergency aid (drinkable water, communications, electricity, and air filtration/climate control) so that they can be easily helicoptered into disaster areas? Now someone has.


ERBUS: Inventor Deborah Yungner with her "Emergency Response Backup Utility System" (Photo courtesy Deborah Yungner)

Deborah Yungner, of Chanhassen, Minnesota, entered her invention—the "Emergency Response Backup Utility System," or ERBUS—into the Minnesota Cup competition, and was one of five finalists. A press release from the competition describes it like this:

"ERBUS is the first-of-a-kind fully integrated, highly mobile emergency response backup utility system. The humanitarian technology of ERBUS was developed to help provide smart, reliable, and innovative emergency management tools that enable first responders, emergency workers and disaster relief personnel to respond quickly and effectively to disaster situations. ERBUS is designed to provide the critical resources necessary for survival, including potable purified water, electrical power, filtered/climate-controlled air, and emergency communications—all in one unit. ERBUS can be equipped to provide field emergency shelter to address the variety of field needs and applications, including a protective infrastructure enclosure; remote command and operation station; and first aid, such as a shelter enclosure, clinic, counseling center or shower facility. It is a portable, self-contained modular unit designed for any disaster area and can be transported by air, land or water."


ERBUS connected to a tent: This image, from ERBUS promotional materials, shows how the ERBUS can be connected to a tent. (Image courtesy Deborah Yungner)

Yungner told the Pioneer Press that the van can purify 5,000 gallons of river water a day, and maybe 2,500 gallons of highly contaminated water. It comes with satellite communications, Internet access, purified air, and a generator. The ERBUS is the only system to put all four elements of emergency response into one unit. And each unit would cost between $180,000 and $250,000, depending on the size, which is about one-third the cost of an average fire truck.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that what happened with hurricanne katrina was horrible. In my 6th grade social studies we have been talking about it alot.

posted on Fri, 10/21/2005 - 1:04pm
snoopy's picture
snoopy says:

my friends and i had a lemonade stand to raise money for red cross for hurricane katrina\r\n

posted on Fri, 10/21/2005 - 2:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My school did lots of fundraising for Hurricane Katrina victims and we raised over $25,000!! Yay!!

posted on Sat, 10/22/2005 - 8:43pm

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