Emergency shelter

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Two hundred rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting were given to earthquake-affected households in Nepal's Kathmandu District's Sankhu village and surrounding areas on May 1st. An additional 500 rolls of this critical emergency shelter material were dispatched to Gorkha, Kathmandu, and Sindhupalchowk. The sheeting was provided by USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and distributed by the non-governmental organizations Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), and Save the Children Emergency shelters.jpg
Two hundred rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting were given to earthquake-affected households in Nepal's Kathmandu District’s Sankhu village and surrounding areas on May 1st. An additional 500 rolls of this critical emergency shelter material were dispatched to Gorkha, Kathmandu, and Sindhupalchowk. The sheeting was provided by USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and distributed by the non-governmental organizations Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), and Save the Children

An emergency shelter is a place for people to live temporarily when they cannot live in their previous residence, similar to homeless shelters. The main difference is that an emergency shelter typically specializes in people fleeing a specific type of situation, such as natural or man-made disasters, domestic violence, or victims of sexual abuse. A more minor difference is that people staying in emergency shelters are more likely to stay all day, except for work, school, or errands, while homeless shelters usually expect people to stay elsewhere during the day, returning only to sleep or eat. Emergency shelters sometimes facilitate support groups, and/or provide meals.

Homeless shelter Service agency which provide temporary residence for homeless people

Homeless shelters are a type of homeless service agency which provide temporary residence for homeless individuals and families. Shelters exist to provide residents with safety and protection from exposure to the weather while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact on the community. They are similar to, but distinguishable from, various types of emergency shelters, which are typically operated for specific circumstances and populations—fleeing natural disasters or abusive social circumstances. Extreme weather conditions create problems similar to disaster management scenarios, and are handled with warming centers, which typically operate for short durations during adverse weather.

Domestic violence pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another

keneil create this document Domestic violence is violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. It may be termed intimate partner violence when committed by a spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other spouse or partner, and can take place in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, or between former spouses or partners. Domestic violence can also involve violence against children, parents, or the elderly. It takes a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as choking, beating, female genital mutilation, and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death. Domestic murders include stoning, bride burning, honor killings, and dowry deaths.

Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is usually undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another. When force is immediate, of short duration, or infrequent, it is called sexual assault. The offender is referred to as a sexual abuser or molester. The term also covers any behavior by an adult or older adolescent towards a child to stimulate any of the involved sexually. The use of a child, or other individuals younger than the age of consent, for sexual stimulation is referred to as child sexual abuse or statutory rape.


Post-disaster emergency shelter is often provided by organizations or governmental emergency management departments, in response to natural disasters, such as a flood or earthquake. They tend to use tents or other temporary structures, or buildings normally used for another purpose, such as a church or school. These settlements may be inhabited for the entire duration of the reconstruction process and should be thought of more as settlements than shelter, and need to be planned with respect to water / sanitation, livelihoods.

Tent temporary building which can be easily dismantled and which is portable

A tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over, attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs. First used as portable homes by nomads, tents are now more often used for recreational camping and as temporary shelters.

Church (building) building constructed for Christian worship

A church building or church house, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly for Christian worship services. The term is often used by Christians to refer to the physical buildings where they worship, but it is sometimes used to refer to buildings of other religions. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is often arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle and the junction of the cross is located at the altar area.

A newer category of emergency shelter is the warming center. Warming centers typically open during particularly cold or rainy nights. They are available to persons who decline to accept homeless shelters, are not allowed to use homeless shelters, or are not homeless but have inadequate or malfunctioning heat in their homes.

Warming center

A warming center is a short-term emergency shelter that operates when temperatures or a combination of precipitation, wind chill, wind and temperature become dangerously inclement. Their paramount purpose is the prevention of death and injury from exposure to the elements. This may include acute trauma from falling objects such as trees, or injury to extremities due to frostbite. A more prevalent emergency which warming centers seek to prevent is hypothermia, the risk for which is aggravated by factors such as age, alcohol consumption, and homelessness.

Mass emergency shelters

One example of a mass emergency shelter is the Louisiana Superdome, which was used as a hurricane shelter during Hurricane Katrina. More than 20,000 storm refugees crowded into the arena seeking sanctuary from the winds and waters of Katrina, filling seats, ramps, corridors, and the artificial turf field. The refugees were met with a myriad of new challenges, including stifling heat, stench, filth, unsanitary facilities, and a shortage of food and drinking water. Violent assaults and rapes were reported, as well as one unconfirmed suicide. [1] [2]

Hurricane Katrina Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in 2005

Hurricane Katrina was an extremely destructive and deadly Category 5 hurricane that made landfall on Florida and Louisiana, particularly the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas, in August 2005, causing catastrophic damage from central Florida to eastern Texas. Subsequent flooding, caused largely as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system known as levees around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives. The storm was the third major hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record to make landfall in the United States, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, Hurricane Camille in 1969, and Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Sustainable design

Sustainable design is often employed in response to global environmental crises, the rapid growth of economic activity and human population, depletion of natural resources, damage to ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity. [3] In 2013, eco architecture writer Bridgette Meinhold surveyed emergency and long-term sustainable housing projects that were developed in response to these crises in her book Urgent Architecture: 40 Sustainable Housing Solutions for a Changing World. [4] [5] Featured projects focus on green building, sustainable design, eco-friendly materials, affordability, material reuse, and humanitarian relief. Construction methods and materials include repurposed shipping containers, straw bale construction, sandbag homes, and floating homes. [6]

Ecosystem A community of living organisms together with the nonliving components of their environment

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the system through photosynthesis and is incorporated into plant tissue. By feeding on plants and on one-another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system. They also influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and other microbes.

Biodiversity loss is the extinction of species worldwide, and also the local reduction or loss of species in a certain habitat.

Bridgette Meinhold is an American artist and author of “Urgent Architecture: 40 Sustainable Housing Solutions for a Changing World.”

See also

Civil defense protection of the citizens of a state (generally non-combatants) from military attack

Civil defense or civil protection is an effort to protect the citizens of a state from military attacks and natural disasters. It uses the principles of emergency operations: prevention, mitigation, preparation, response, or emergency evacuation and recovery. Programs of this sort were initially discussed at least as early as the 1920s and were implemented in some countries during the 1930s as the threat of war and aerial bombardment grew. It became widespread after the threat of nuclear weapons was realized.

Emergency management is the organization and management of the resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies. The aim is to reduce the harmful effects of all hazards, including disasters.

Natural disaster major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth

A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; examples are floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other geologic processes. A natural disaster can cause loss of life or damage property, and typically leaves some economic damage in its wake, the severity of which depends on the affected population's resilience, or ability to recover and also on the infrastructure available.

Related Research Articles

Federal Emergency Management Agency United States disaster response agency, part of Department of Homeland Security

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders on April 1, 1979. The agency's primary purpose is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities. The governor of the state in which the disaster occurs must declare a state of emergency and formally request from the president that FEMA and the federal government respond to the disaster. The only exception to the state's gubernatorial declaration requirement occurs when an emergency or disaster takes place on federal property or to a federal asset—for example, the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, or the Space Shuttle Columbia in the 2003 return-flight disaster.

Architecture for Humanity was a US-based charitable organization that sought architectural solutions to humanitarian crises and brought professional design services to clients. Founded in 1999, it laid off its staff and closed down at the beginning of January 2015.

A humanitarian crisis is defined as a singular event or a series of events that are threatening in terms of health, safety or well being of a community or large group of people. It may be an internal or external conflict and usually occurs throughout a large land area. Local, national and international responses are necessary in such events.

Effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans

As the center of Hurricane Katrina passed southeast of New Orleans on August 29, 2005, winds downtown were in the Category 1 range with frequent intense gusts and tidal surge. Hurricane-force winds were experienced throughout the city, although the most severe portion of Katrina missed the city, hitting nearby St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes. Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall in eastern St. Tammany Parish. The western eye wall passed directly over St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane at about 9:45 am Central Time, August 29, 2005. The communities of Slidell, Avery Estates, Lakeshore Estates, Oak Harbor, Eden Isles and Northshore Beach were inundated by the storm surge that extended over six miles inland. The storm surge affected all 57 miles (92 km) of St. Tammany Parish's coastline, including Lacombe, Mandeville and Madisonville. The storm surge in the area of the Rigolets Pass was estimated to be 16 feet, not including wave action, declining to 7 feet (2.1 m) at Madisonville. The surge had a second peak in eastern St. Tammany as the westerly winds from the southern eye wall pushed the surge to the east, backing up at the bottleneck of the Rigolets Pass.

The article covers the Hurricane Katrina effects by region, within the United States and Canada. The effects of Hurricane Katrina, in August 2005, were catastrophic and widespread. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history, leaving at least 1,836 people dead, and a further 135 missing. The storm was large and had an effect on several different areas of North America.

Hurricane Katrina disaster relief

The disaster recovery response to Hurricane Katrina included federal government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), state and local-level agencies, federal and National Guard soldiers, non-governmental organizations, charities, and private individuals. Tens of thousands of volunteers and troops responded or were deployed to the disaster - most in the affected area but also throughout the U.S. at shelters set up in at least 19 states.

Hurricane Katrina had many social effects, due to the significant loss and disruption of lives it caused. The hurricane left hundreds of thousands people without access to their homes or jobs, it separated people from relatives, and caused both physical and mental distress on those who suffered through the storm and its aftermath.

Canadian response to Hurricane Katrina

Canada's first response to the disaster inflicted by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf of Mexico coastline of the United States was the deployment of a Vancouver heavy urban search and rescue team, which arrived in Lafayette, Louisiana on the evening of August 31, 2005, arriving on a WestJet Airlines aircraft. Due to security and logistics issues in the disaster area surrounding New Orleans, the team started operations on September 3, saving 30 people that day. They returned to Vancouver on September 6, reportedly saving over 110 people during their deployment. It has also accepted some evacuees to stay in Canada.

Timeline of Hurricane Katrina

This article contains a historical timeline of the events of Hurricane Katrina on August 23, 2005

Following that devastation of the United States and Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong send his personal letter of condolences to U.S. President George W. Bush and also Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo send his personal letter of condolences to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice respectively that promising support for the American people in their relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Refugee shelter

Refugee shelters are structures ranging from the most temporary tent accommodation through transitional shelter to building permanent houses and settlements and include the most basic kind of ad hoc structure. They are created in the aftermath of a conflict or natural disaster as a temporary residence for victims who have lost or abandoned their homes. Refugees and IDPs are people fleeing their homes or countries of origin due to natural disasters, war and political or religious persecution in search of refuge and resettlement. Living in these shelters refugees may face crowded, noisy, dirty, disease filled grounds where thousands of families are cramped together and surviving day by day.

Cameron Sinclair was the former head of social innovation and helped to develop the humanitarian programs at Airbnb. Projects include emergency short term housing for those displaced by man-made and natural disasters; livelihoods for vulnerable communities; peace building programs and rural revitalization.

Transitional shelter

Transitional shelter is any of a range of shelter options that help people affected by conflict or natural disasters who have lost or abandoned their housing until they can return to or recover acceptable permanent accommodation. The term refers to an incremental process rather than a product, in which a shelter can be:

  1. upgraded into part of a permanent house;
  2. reused for another purpose;
  3. relocated from a temporary site to a permanent location;
  4. resold, to generate income to aid with recovery; and
  5. recycled for reconstruction.

Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), based in Alexandria, Virginia, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) humanitarian agency and member of the Islamic Relief Worldwide group of organizations. IRUSA was founded in California in 1993. In addition to international relief and development initiatives, Islamic Relief USA also sponsors and funds domestic projects ranging from emergency disaster responses to assisting the American homeless population and supporting those who cannot afford basic healthcare.

Solidarités International is a non-profit organization working in areas of conflict and natural disasters. Its main aim is to provide quick and effective support for people in life-threatening situations by meeting their vital needs: water, food and shelter. The organization also has a particular focus on unsafe drinking water and food insecurity among the most vulnerable populations. Solidarités International, an organization founded in 1980 by Alain Boinet under France’s 1901 charity law, comprises 160 expatriate volunteers and 2180 local employees. Each year it carries out over 120 humanitarian programs in 16 countries.

The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is an organizational unit within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that is charged by the President of the United States with directing and coordinating international United States government disaster assistance.

Mary Ann Jackson is an architect, planner and access consultant from Melbourne, Australia. Jackson is the owner of Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd an access consultancy business in North Melbourne specialising in universal design and sustainably accessible environments. Her professional career spans architectural roles firstly as a student architect in a small firm in Perth, Senior Architect at Gray Puksand Pty Ltd and Principal at MAG Designs, Architecture and Interior Design. Her current business, Visionary Design Development founded in 2005 by Jackson and her husband, vision scientist Ralph J. Green. The practice has a social justice commitment, works on housing projects with the Department of Human Services and recently began a pro bono studio arm with students and international architects living in Melbourne. Much of their work centres in the integration of health care and construction, the provision of specialist advice in researching, planning, designing and developing healthy cities and communities. A pilot study of a Universal Mobility Index is creating much interest both locally and abroad with governments and disability groups.

Emergency sanitation Management and technical processes required to provide sanitation in emergency situations

Emergency sanitation is the management and technical processes required to provide sanitation in emergency situations. This can include man-made or natural disasters. Emergency sanitation is also required during humanitarian relief operations for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).


  1. Treaster, Joseph B. "Superdome: Haven Quickly Becomes an Ordeal". New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  2. Associated Press. "Superdome evacuation disrupted after shots fired". ESPN. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  3. Fan Shu-Yang, Bill Freedman, and Raymond Cote (2004). "Principles and practice of ecological design". Environmental Reviews. 12: 97–112. link
  4. Meinhold, Bridgette. Urgent Architecture: 40 Sustainable Housing Solutions for a Changing World. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  5. Vidal, John. "Humanitarian intent: Urgent Architecture from ecohomes to shelters – in pictures". theguardian.com. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  6. "URGENT ARCHITECTURE: Inhabitat Interviews Author Bridgette Meinhold About Her New Book". YouTube.com. Retrieved 26 May 2014.