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Drupalcon Attendees Come Together To Build Help4ok.org In 24 Hours

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the a-little-help-from-my-friends dept.

The Almighty Buck 36

Falc0n writes "Many of us don't have to look too far back to recall the impact of a natural disaster: Sandy, Chelyabinsk, Lushan, and now Oklahoma. When they occur there is typically no shortage of assistance available, but coordination is always a major challenge. In a very open source way, about 60 open source developers, designers, and sys admins came together to build a scalable tool to help those affected by the tornado. If you're interested in helping the effort, join us in irc.freenode.net #drupal4ok"

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36 comments

With all due respect... (5, Funny)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#43811179)

With all due respect to these talented, compassionate people, nothing short of anotherfuckingplacetolive.com* is going to cut it.

*I should know; I live here. :p

Re:With all due respect... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43811587)

With all due respect to these talented, compassionate people, nothing short of anotherfuckingplacetolive.com* is going to cut it.

That was already true. While looking at which states I'd consider moving to, I checked out basics like laws affecting basic freedoms and OK was very fucking far from OK.

List of ok places to move to (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43811927)

With all due respect to these talented, compassionate people, nothing short of anotherfuckingplacetolive.com* is going to cut it.

That was already true. While looking at which states I'd consider moving to, I checked out basics like laws affecting basic freedoms and OK was very fucking far from OK.

I'd appreciate knowing the short list you came up with for states that would be ok to move to. I've been wanting to compile a list like that too and I suspect we may both have similar sensibilities. I don't have access to my password from where I am atm or I'd post normally, but I'll watch in case you respond.

Thanks!

Re:List of ok places to move to (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#43812521)

I'm learning Finnish.

Re:List of ok places to move to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43812843)

You can actually manage pretty well in Finland without knowing Finnish. Many companies run in English internally for instance. Also, more up north from Helsinki towards the coast, Swedish is used a lot and all shops etc. are bilingual (in addition to English). Swedish is a lot easier to learn...

Re:List of ok places to move to (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43813023)

Well for me basically what it came down to was WA or OR. There is still water there. Finding property that comes with any kind of water rights is the fancy trick. I love the land of CA but the politics here are completely wacky. This state is just too big and too heterogeneous to be managed by one government.

Re:List of ok places to move to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43827833)

Thanks for the response! I'm in WA now so I suppose I'll look OR over in greater depth.

Re:With all due respect... (2)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year ago | (#43811929)

If you stopped building your homes out of match sticks and built homes that where able to withstand tornadoes (and yes this is perfectly possible) then the clean up would be a *LOT* simpler.

Other sensible measures would be putting electric and telecoms under ground as well.

Re:With all due respect... (1)

egamma (572162) | about a year ago | (#43812405)

If you stopped building your homes out of match sticks and built homes that where able to withstand tornadoes (and yes this is perfectly possible) then the clean up would be a *LOT* simpler.

Other sensible measures would be putting electric and telecoms under ground as well.

Both those measures are expensive. Do you have any idea how many thousands of miles of telecom/electric cables are in Oklahoma? If they just have one mile of wire per square mile, that's 69,898 miles of wire. I think the figure is many times that.

Same with housing. Building with concrete or steel is expensive, and will turn your house into an E-Z Bake Oven as well. That would increase electricity needs for running AC, which would lead to more pollution, which would cause more deaths.

Re:With all due respect... (1)

D1G1T (1136467) | about a year ago | (#43814017)

Same with housing. Building with concrete or steel is expensive, and will turn your house into an E-Z Bake Oven as well. That would increase electricity needs for running AC, which would lead to more pollution, which would cause more deaths.

Well, I guess having more kids to replace the ones you lost is cheaper, since they are technically free to create. People in Guatemala, and I dont mean rich people, build homes out of cinderblock and lots of rebar because they get an earthquake once a month. It can't be that much more than wood construction. BTW, concrete buildings are cooler, not hotter. Thus all the stone/adobe/cinderblock buildings in hot places.

Re:With all due respect... (2)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about a year ago | (#43815695)

Same with housing. Building with concrete or steel is expensive, and will turn your house into an E-Z Bake Oven as well. That would increase electricity needs for running AC, which would lead to more pollution, which would cause more deaths.

You mean building with wood turns your home into an E-Z Bake Oven, right? In Europe we like to build our external walls with an autoclaved aerated concrete core because that stuff is great at thermal insulation. Add some proper (ie. double- or triple-pane) windows with insulated frames and appropriate doors and you get a house that is a lot more resistant to outside temperature than one made out of wood. There is a reason why A/C is much less popular in Europe than in the States: It's simply not as useful if the house stays cool on its own if you lower the blinds and only open the windows briefly to let in fresh air.
Of course AAC isn't as strong as regular concrete and it probably can't be reinforced. Even if you go with normal concrete, though, you should be able to acheive superior insulation and thus less need for A/C during summer by using appropriate doors and windows. And even if the concrete has greater thermal leakage you can always add mineral wool. It's not like thermal insulation is a poorly-understood black art.

Or you could go with a hobbit-style house: Take a dome-shaped concrete shell and put earth on top. Sow grass. Use double- or triple-pane windows as appropriate. As far as I have heard the result is very good at thermal insulation. Concrete dome shells (aka monolithic domes) are quite storm-resistant [wikipedia.org]. Even geodesic domes are fairly good at it. You need to make sure that the local building code allows it, though.

Sure, that's all much more expensive than putting up a few wooden beams, nailing boards across them and calling the result a wall. But then again you have to expect increased power consumption due to A/C and decreased building survivability in case of disaster if you decide that what's cheapest in the short term must be the best possible solution.


In short: Concrete walls aren't hot during summer (not if planned and built properly) and if you decide to build a house that can't withstand a severe storm in an area known to be subject to severe storms it's your own fault if your house collapses.

Re:With all due respect... (1)

Plombo (1914028) | about a year ago | (#43822547)

There is a reason why A/C is much less popular in Europe than in the States: It's simply not as useful if the house stays cool on its own if you lower the blinds and only open the windows briefly to let in fresh air.

There is a reason why A/C is less popular in Europe than in the States, but it's not that. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's any part of Europe that regularly gets temperatures upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) on several days of every summer. Much of the southern United States does, and that's why A/C is a necessity there. Just changing the building material won't cut it, even if it does improve the cooling situation.

Re:With all due respect... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about a year ago | (#43826251)

That's true in general* but as far as I know A/C is fairly popular in the States even where extreme temperatures aren't regularly encountered. I will moderate my stance to "proper insulation should obviate the need for A/C in temperate climate and might help in the subtropics". That still doesn't change my basic point: Concrete buildings aren't automatically hotter in summer than wooden ones; the opposite is more likely if the building was built properly. Plus, the reasoning behind "you should use reinforced concrete or monolithic domes" is not that it's cooler in summer but that it makes it easier to not lose everything you own when a natural disaster that is known to happen frequently in the area happens.

* We can get that hot but only in extremely hot summers. For instance, in 2003 we had about two weeks' worth of temperatures like that in some areas of Germany - but that was during a very hot summer following a season-long drought that left little water in the ground for evaporative cooling. It was also the hottest summer in the last 500 years.

Re:With all due respect... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#43812059)

With all due respect to these talented, compassionate people, nothing short of anotherfuckingplacetolive.com* is going to cut it.

*I should know; I live here. :p

I can understand this mentality in a place that floods every single year and people every year say "we're going to rebuild". It''s quite another to say that in a place that experiences a once in a century hurricane, or a once in a century tornado (even if it experiences a once in a century tornado two times in fifteen years). If you lived only in place where it was not possible to have a once in a century event of some type, I think you would find that the Earth would suddenly become uninhabitable. There are meteorological, geothermal and geological events that when totaled up, pretty much cover the whole Earth. You have to live somewhere.
As the Earth becomes more populated, the chances of these events hitting a populated area increases.

Re:With all due respect... (1)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#43813721)

Move where? To the south with hurricanes? The north with blizzards? The west with earthquakes? Shit happens. Mother nature hates us. You just have to press on.

Self indulgent charity much? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43811215)

This isn't any different than people "liking" a tragic story on Facebook. It literally accomplishes nothing at all, except maybe to provide the supposedly "charitable" an opportunity to pat themselves on the back. If those same attendees spent 24 straight hours collecting money to send to the victims, they might have actually helped someone. As it stands, the only thing they've accomplished is to show how quickly Drupal can be used to set up a functioning site, which is all they wanted to accomplish in the first place. Advertising.

Re:Self indulgent charity much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43811293)

...and the only thing you've accomplished is wasting time complaining about it.

Re:Self indulgent charity much? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43811321)

volunteers wishing to help in the recovery can coordinate rides to prevent area roads from becoming clogged. The site also helps connect volunteers with homeowners who are willing to house out-of-towners.

Yeah, totally useless.

Re:Self indulgent charity much? (1)

Lundse (1036754) | about a year ago | (#43811437)

So, a FEMA-approved site which coordinate help on the ground (so far, housing and personal transportation) is not helpful to relief efforts?

Re:Self indulgent charity much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43811723)

If FEMA is involved or approves of it it is quite likely to be completely useless.

Re:Self indulgent charity much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43811679)

Normally I try to be encouraging and upbeat but this really is something sadly simple, I can't think that even an 8 hour day for 60 people resulted in this (two man months?) The site is two microblogs, one for shelter and one for rides, with some primitive search features to help "donors". Do you think it took them that long to come up with "TEXT MONEY4OK TO 54321 TO DONATE $10" and which of the two do you think helped more people? Sorry, it was nice of them to try, but this looks like the work of one person pulling an all nighter on a 'dew binge.

Capitalism can't cope (0, Troll)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#43811227)

Cuba, a bureaucratically deformed workers state, regularly weathers extreme hurricanes with no loss of life, because the means to plan and execute a real preparation and recovery are not disorganized by the anarchy of private property.

THE WORKERS MUST RULE!

Re:Capitalism can't cope (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43811309)

Weathering a hurricane isn't exactly the same as weathering a tornado, but I suppose they didn't teach that at Kim Il-Song school either.

Re:Capitalism can't cope (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#43811387)

OK, a person with the handle "For a Free Internet" posts praising a regime that heavily restricts its populations access to the Internet. Make up your mind, do you support totalitarian control over all aspects of people's lives, including what information they can access, or do you support a free Internet? Or by "free Internet" do you really mean someone else pays for your access to the Internet?
I always wonder why these people who praise Cuba so much don't move there.

USA is a stinkhole (1, Informative)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#43811443)

USA is a racist hellhole prison empire! Compared to the USA Cuba has lots more freedom! DEFEND, EXTEND THE CUBAN REVOLUTION!

The workers will even let you use the internet as long as you don't try any counterrevolutionary scheming!

CHEKA!

Re:Capitalism can't cope (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#43812013)

Cuba, a bureaucratically deformed workers state, regularly weathers extreme hurricanes with no loss of life, because the means to plan and execute a real preparation and recovery are not disorganized by the anarchy of private property.

THE WORKERS MUST RULE!

Cuban media claimed 11 deaths for Hurricane Sandy even though it wasn't a hurricane when it went through that area. According to this site , hurricanes in Cuba regularly cause hundreds to thousands of deaths per occurrence. Meanwhile, in a tornado where thousands of houses were literally ripped from the earth leaving nothing but slab foundations, and having the highest windspeed ever recorded on planet Earth, 44 people died. Then earlier this week, a tornado of nearly the same strength ripped through an even more heavily populated area, again destroying thousands of houses, and 22 people were killed. That is really nothing short of amazing and speaks wonders for the emergency broadcast system and shows that with proper training people can really figure out what to do in an emergency to keep from getting killed.

Re:Capitalism can't cope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43812171)

Population density.

This isn't a disaster! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43811331)

There's been worse than this, so you can't call it disaster!

(Well, the AGW denialists insist there's no catastrophe or unprecedented weather whenever the effects of our failure to do anything about the problem crop up, why aren't THEY here to say this???)

Something Generic? (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#43811405)

It would have been nice if they'd made something more generic!

Re:Something Generic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43814275)

They are doing that: https://github.com/bryanhirsch/drupal4ok

The next phase of the project is to build a generic Drupal distribution providing such website capability.

One effort already (3, Informative)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#43811621)

For contribution or inspiration, there is already Sahana [wikipedia.org] - IIRC there was a php version and a rewrite using the very well thought out python framework web2py.

Help40k? (1)

Sir Realist (1391555) | about a year ago | (#43813399)

UUnfortunately the site was crashed 20 minutes later by illiterate 16-year-olds shouting "For the Emperor!"... and then served by lawyers from GW 20 minutes after that.

Mobile Disaster Recovery App (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | about a year ago | (#43814675)

There was a great project debuted at the Cleanweb Hackathon (part of NYC BigApps) this past weekend. It helped coordinate in-kind contributions, needs identification, volunteer distribution, and every other disaster-related necessity on the ground.

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