Japan Quake Relief – Ishinomaki House Repair
On our second day of relief work, we helped repair a house which is being used as a headquarters for some relief efforts in the area. The house was damaged by the tsunami when five feet of water came into it. Many repairs had already be made.
We had three tasks given to us. The one requiring the most workers was painting the entire first floor walls. Someone had put up tape and plastic to keep the paint off what they did not want to be painted. All we had to do was paint the walls. We set about quickly hoping to finish before leaving for the day. Some did the trim work while others filled in the large spaces inside the trim. With many workers we were able to complete one coat before we broke for lunch.
While most were painting, one of our group worked on a bathroom ripping out dry wall, cleaning, and making the toilet usable again. This took a great deal of time. Judgment had to be made as to how much and what was removed. Mold from the water is a very serious concern.
Another part of our group worked on grounding an outlet in another bathroom. While this seems straight forward work, it took some ingenuity to accomplish with damaged walls, cramped quarters, and limited equipment.
After lunch we all returned to the unfinished tasks from the morning. A second coat went up on the wall. This was followed by clean up – removing masking tape, plastic, cleaning floors and equipment. The toilet and bathroom was completed and usable. The electrical outlet was grounded, insulation installed, and made ready for dry wall to be put up.
As we left we could see concrete effects of our work. The walls looked great with all the furniture replaced and the room cleaned up. The toilet and bathroom were usable. The other bathroom was ready for dry wall though not yet usable. It was a good feeling of accomplishment, but there was still so much more to do.