The Heat Rescue Disaster Recovery set contains a pot, a manual for turning the drum into a wood-burning stove, packages of freeze-dried rice, bottled water, utensils, towels, work gloves, and 200 portions of pre-cooked food.

Housed in an oil drum, the survival kit can be easily transported to areas where it’s needed.

The package can be turned into a wood-burning stove.

Although tailored to Japanese tastes, the contents could change to reflect other cultures and locations.

The stove can be used to heat water for bathing.

The stove can be used to heat water for bathing.

Co.Design

A Survival Kit For 30 People That Turns Into A Stove

Inspired by last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Hikaru Imamura transformed an oil drum into a care package with enough provisions to sustain 30 people for two days.

Following natural disasters, many survivors find themselves in temporary housing that lack the comforts, privacy, and security of home. “In such harsh conditions, people are more likely to become ill, due to mental stress and exhaustion,” Hikaru Imamura writes. So to provide some succor for displaced victims, the Eindhoven-trained Japanese designer decided to build a kit of necessities whose container (a standard oil drum) could be transformed into a stove. “Warming your body, as well as having access to hot meals, can provide mental encouragement,” he says.

The project began as something quite different, a memorial to those who perished in the Kobe earthquake of 1995. But after Japan suffered a more recent earthquake and tsunami last March, Imamura shifted his focus in a more practical direction. His mother’s experience as a volunteer during that time also informed his conviction that hot water was a vital necessity. His utilitarian response is the Heat Rescue Disaster Recovery set, a readily available oil drum containing a pot, a manual for turning the drum into a wood-burning stove, packages of freeze-dried rice, bottled water, utensils, towels, work gloves, and 200 portions of pre-cooked food—enough provisions, according to Imamura, to sustain 30 people for two days.

The contents of the kits could be tailored to different cultures and locations, and Imamura hopes to develop the idea further with a smaller set for individual families. “Although I used to think up a poetic and unrealistic solution before,” he tells Co.Design, “I realized I should go more realistic direction, even if the idea won’t be super innovative as new design.”

[H/T Metropolis]

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12 Comments

  • Darren R Zane

    Very thoughtful design. An excellent conversion of a standard oil drum into a multi-purpose tool for heating, storage, transport. Also dig the Japanese influences on the barrel's top part (the wooden covers look like nabe pot covers, as well as the scoop).

  • Cypresslou

    I would like to purchase one as well. Where can they be found? How much are they?  Thank you for the innovation! 

  • hikaru

    Hi Cypresslou,Thank you for your interest in my project.It's still been just a concept model, and so can not be offered. but I hope I can react to your request before long.

  • Hikaru

    Hi vince, I appreciate your comment.The stuff in the above pictures is a prototype that I made at school, thus I still haven't had more than two at this moment.In order to proceed this project, I'm currently looking for a client cooperator-manufacturer-users who will help realize it.I wish to give you a good news of it in the near future..! hikaru

  • Kdekay

    FANTASTIC. More people need to be thinking of ways to innovate like this for the good of others. 

  • Lizpangerl

    Innovative? This is a brilliant use of existing materials, like an oil drum, to provide warmth, food and comfort to victims displaced by natural disasters. What could be more innovative than sustaining the human condition in an empowering way? Bravo to you.

  • Deborah Christman

    Every school should have one of these. Teachers will need to care for many kids while parents try to get home. If they can come home.