Vol. 06: MakeShift

The creator of MacGyver challenges you to survive an earthquake, a flood, and a hungover neighbor.

+ Downloads & Extras:

The Scenario:

You live with your wife and two teenage children in a rustic, one-story house next to a roaring mountain stream in a steep, narrow canyon. Early one morning, you're awakened by a serious earthquake. The family is ok, but the power is out. The portable radio tells you that the quake has hit the region hard, and power will probably be out for days. The land and cellular phone systems are out as well, but you don't get cell reception up here anyway. You look outside and see that a rockslide just below you has not only cut off your driveway, but also dammed the stream, which is rising fast. Your house will be mostly underwater in 15 minutes.

You have two cars:

A Toyota Prius and a Chevy Suburban. Both have full tanks of gas and cellphone chargers in the dash, but you have only enough open space up behind the house to keep one of them out of the water, above the level of the rock slide. Your home has typical belongings and a basic set of tools, but all your camping equipment is lent out to your brother - and it's been getting cold at night.

The Challenge:

You have 15 minutes to move one of your cars up to dry ground, and tell your family what to collect from the house to ensure that you can all survive up here for at least five days. You also need to devise a way to let the outside world know that you're here, and need to be rescued.

There's one other wrinkle:

Your only neighbor, a single guy named Dave, probably partied hard last night and slept through the quake. But his house will flood just as quickly as yours. You can send someone to rouse Dave, but then you're down one collector, and if you do rescue him, he'll join you with nothing more than the clothes he has on. Should you factor in Dave, or figure that in a disater like this, it's every man for himself?

Now, look at your watch again. You need to make some key decisions immediately, and figure out who should do and grab what. Because in 15 minutes, the party's over, and you're completely isolated and homeless... Go!


Send a detailed description of your MakeShift solution with sketches and/or photos to [email protected] by April 15, 2006. The most plausible and creative solutions will each win MAKE T-shirts and a SwissMemory USB Victorinox 512MB. For rules and solutions to previous MakeShift challenges, visit makezine.com/makeshift.


Additional content for this article, available only online.

MakeShift 06: Analysis, Commentary, and Winners

Lee D. Zlotoff offers his commentary and analysis about the MAKE 06 MakeShift challenge. Lee then announces the Most Plausible and Most Creative winning entries.
by Lee D. Zlotoff; August 25, 2006 | Technorati | del.icio.us

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