"I'll give you shelter from the storm" Bob Dylan sings in his so-named song. This could also be the motto for the German Red Cross to build accommodations - shelters - for the people in areas affected or threatened by disasters. Because tsunamis, typhoons or earthquakes often cause massive destruction.
If large areas are destroyed, it is clear that the design of the buildings is not suitable. This is why a risk analysis should review building design and adapt the buildings if necessary.
Shelters - building safe accommodations
The German Red Cross supports repair and rebuilding of accommodations in many affected regions worldwide. Together with the affected people, the GRC plans buildings deploying sustainable building materials and techniques rooting in the local culture. The goal is to make the buildings more resilient against the expected natural disasters and, at best, resist destruction.
Of course, after a disaster, adequate homes should be made available to the people as quickly as possible. This is why the GRC always aims to balance the need for quick aid and future oriented solutions. For example, together with our sister societies we set up local workshops for craftsmen of all types and origin. In the workshops, walls and components can be pre-fabricated and brought to the construction sites by logistics teams. Carpenters and the future inhabitants can then locally erect a shelter within a few days to provide a family with a new home. The shelters are made from local resources, such as palm wood or bamboo, and provide protection against specific dangers, such as high wind speeds or seismic shocks.
Training the population
Besides building shelters, we train the local people in construction techniques for earthquake and storm-safe houses. By that, we enable them to select the right materials and use the right techniques to build new homes in the future.
One thing must not be forgotten: When building new homes for poor families, security is not the only thing that counts. It is also about dignity, privacy and strengthening against the effects of the climate change. This is why the German Red Cross is committed to support the construction of shelters in many regions around the world.