Bright Idea Helps those Facing Disaster
May 19, 2012
When disaster strikes, food, water and shelter are the first supplies immediately sent. Two young entrepreneurs however are providing a new source of relief.
Gary Tuchman has their story in this "Start Small Think Big".
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GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti donations from around the world helped with the relief effort. But two graduate students felt that something was missing.
ANDREA SRESHTA, LUMINAID: We teamed up two weeks after the earthquake happened in Haiti because we both had a common interest in exploring the use of solar lighting and renewable lighting and disaster relief aid.
TUCHMAN: So Andrea Sreshta and Anna Stork came up with a bright new idea. LuminAid -- a small, solar-powered light that inflates making it water proof and easy to ship.
SRESHTA: We kind of came to believe that light is a basic human need. Light really should be a part of what is included for victims in the wake of a natural disaster.
TUCHMAN: When Japan's earthquake happened last year Andrea and Anna put their product to use.
SRESHTA: We were in Tokyo so things were relatively stable in that part of the country but what ended up happening was that there were rolling blackouts and people across the city were trying to conserve power.
TUCHMAN: LuminAid lights provide up to eight hours of light per charge and are fully charged in five hours and are currently available in 25 countries.
SRESHTA: When a disaster happens people are in fact in need of very fundamental supplies including lighting and power.
TUCHMAN: Whether as a mobile source or in cases of emergencies, LuminAid could be lighting the way for the future.