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Friday, May 29, 2015

Aid to Nepal: Food, Water, Blankets & Tarps

The April 25, 2015 Nepal earthquake rocked the village of Barpak and many towns surrounding it, killing more than 8,000 people and injuring upwards of 19,000. The aftermath has left many Nepali people without the essentials, including food, water, blankets and shelter. Often overlooked, tarps are another fundamental relief aid that can drastically improve the community’s rebuilding, providing temporary shelter, storage, shade, privacy and flooring. Here are some ways tarps can help aid in relief efforts in Nepal.


The 7.8-MMS earthquake devastated thousands of homes and flattened entire neighborhoods. The broad-spanning effects of the quake even triggered building foundation issues, like cracked walls, as far as 700 miles away. Tarps are favored among relief groups over tents because they can quickly help survivors construct a shelter. A tarp can easily be draped over a tree branch or over the remains of a structure — such as a house or a wall — to serve as a wall or a roof.


Following a devastating event, tarps are often delivered alongside food, water and personal hygiene products. Because the earthquake destroyed so many of the community’s vital structures, like homes, schools and neighborhood resource centers, these essentials are often left open to the elements. Tarps can help protect these goods until permanent structures are rebuilt. The Nepal earthquake affected many remote communities in Nepal’s steep Himalayan foothills, making it difficult to deliver materials to quickly rebuild homes.

Other uses

Because tarps are so versatile, water-resistant and UV-resistant, they can also be used to help collect water, create temporary flooring, block out the sun, create walls and curtains for privacy, and to insulate. There are so many unique ways to use a tarp to help people in need that it should be considered a vital relief tool alongside food and water.

How to Help

Sending a tarp to Nepal is one of the most powerful ways you can directly help the country’s people rebuild their communities. UV-resistant polyethylene tarps are great for a wide variety of applications, so they’re a great and affordable option for relief. Make donations to trusted humanitarian and development organizations, such as UNICEF or the International Medical Corps, and suggest that your donation goes to the supply of tarps.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Stop Garden Weeds with Tarps

An inexpensive way to prevent weeds from destroying your backyard garden involves an ordinary black tarp. Before you start planting, cover the ground for your garden with a tarp.

Next, cover the tarpaulin with about 3 inches of mulch. For an affordable tarp, shop online retailers like TarpSurplus.com. Clear the mulch from the areas where you want to plant seeds, bulbs or seedlings.

Cut holes 1 or 2 inches larger than your bulb or seed, loosen the soil below the tarp, and insert your future plant. Clear any loosened soil from the top of the tarp to prevent stray weeds from taking root. Then push the mulch back around the new plantings. It’s that easy. 

Avoid these guys in your garden this year.
Photo Credit: JeepersMedia via Compfight cc

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tarp Surfing 101

Photo Credit: Jesse Wagstaff via Compfight cc
Versatile tarpaulins are responsible for a new craze called tarp surfing.

The Orange County Register reports that the DIY sport has even started a patent war between two Southern California families with startup tarp surfing businesses.

Here’s how it works. Purchase an oversized 25-foot by 25-foot blue tarpaulin available at retailers like TarpSurplus.com. Use two big rocks to secure one end of the tarp over a large, flat surface.

Two friends each stand at the opposite end. Each holds up a corner of the tarp. As a skateboarder approaches the tarp diagonally, the two friends raise their ends high and run toward the same point where the skateboarder heads.

The effect is that of a tube wave, or funnel, over the low-riding skateboarder’s head.