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1.0 d e s i g n b u i l d r&d

m i ca e n v 390 , d i s a s t e r r e l i e f r e s e a r c h 1.0 fo r e wa r d by dav i d l o p e z , s p r i n g 2011

1.0 d e s i g n b u i l d r &d

m i ca e n v 390 , d i s a s t e r r e l i e f r e s e a r c h 1.0 fo r e wa r d by dav i d l o p e z , s p r i n g 2011

c r e d i ts

Rich Wilkund Maryland Institute College of Art ( m i ca ) m i ca ’ s Center for Design Practice ( c dp ) m i ca ’ s Environmental Design Department ( e n v ) e n v 390 Design Build Studio

6 8 38 82 86

i n t r o d u ct i o n

m e a n s & m et h o d s

ca s e s t u d i e s

c o n c lu s i o n s

the design team

Table of Contents



Several months ago, I was approached by Rich Wiklund with an idea. The idea was to build 1 million disaster relief shelters in 10 years. At the time, I wasn’t as shocked about the ambition as I was that a local entrepreneur in Baltimore, Maryland thought it a relevant topic. This represented an attempt at engagement and it was far from the normal mode of assistance most of us are accustomed to. Disasters have clearly become a topic for discussion in the modern era. Whether or not one believes in global warming, or environmental stewardship on any level, it has grown rather obvious that disaster scales and frequencies are shifting. With populations growing, and clusters moving closer to shorelines, it seems the disasters we have recently witnessed are creating intensified humanitarian crises, often overwhelming the critical support structure for international aid and relief. What we see in the United States are television commercials and emails—simple requests for donations in support of affected populations. Dial a number, or send a text message, and get billed 10 dollars from the Red Cross. It is convenient, almost to a fault. So, when this opportunity at engagement arrived, I was most certainly interested. The Maryland Institute, College of Art ( mica) 5

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had recently allowed me to start a DesignBuild studio in the Environmental Design Department (env)—and we were looking for interesting projects to engage students with. Rich’s project fit well within the goals— small-scale, able to be delivered, prototypes or structures with a slant toward social awareness. So we agreed to take it on. We scripted the project into two semesters, Design in the Spring semester of 2011, then Build in the following Fall semester. We engaged m i ca’s Center for Design Practice (c d p) to work with us in the Fall toward developing branding concepts and a web presence. We essentially decided to develop a complete business model—from marketing through design toward prototyping—all in an effort to meet Rich’s ambition of 1 million shelters. Excited about the opportunity, I posted the offering, hoping to gain an interest in a class that would span two semesters—would the students even want to take such a project on, when one semester will not produce complete results? I was somewhat amazed to see a high level of interest. 14 students signed up and I recruited two graduate level teaching assistants who would help bridge the material from semester to semester. As we started our research, I realized design could not even begin to take place without

a better understanding of the problem. A very basic question evolved: What type of shelter would we build and why? That question led to a number of other issues. What are the implications a disaster has on basic health and wellness? What happens to sources of food and nutrition after a disaster? What are the short and long term consequences on basic services? How do affected populations receive information to obtain relief and services? And how do all of these things fit into consideration of a post-disaster type of shelter? These considerations were directed at the class. And this publication is a result of that line of questioning. Throughout the first several weeks so much happened…We began looking at shelter, food, health and wellness, organizations and challenges as topics for consideration. Then we looked at these topics in a series of case studies. Then we got a surprise. We received a grant from m i ca’s Office of Community Engagement that allowed me to take a portion of the class to Haiti. The trip would take place approximately 14 months after the massive earthquake that killed some 230,000 people, disrupting the lives of over 3 million. We had been investigating these questions at the time for almost 6 weeks…Now new questions arose: What would Haiti look like after 14 months? What kinds of

things would we see? What would we learn from the trip? Haiti was eye-opening for all of us. It became a galvanizing event for the class, not only were the students who traveled more intent on delivering outcome, but the rest of the class also responded, with a strong interest in learning about what this effort could eventually mean. We saw 8 different kinds of shelter, from container shelters and straw bale structures, to tent cities, to a massive rebuilding effort by religious organizations to rebuild Cite Soleil, one of the world’s largest slums. Seeing all of this mingling together brought recognition to our circumstance. This was more about people than architecture. We needed this effort to respond to the human condition…things like dignity, privacy and wage earning potential became as significant as structure, material and space. This discussion still lingers in our classroom, but we are more prepared than ever for design. This book can be thought of as an introduction to the discussion. Please visit the various websites mentioned throughout the text for more information and to get involved.

dav i d l o p e z , a dj u n ct fac u lt y m a r c h 2011




mi ca e n v 390 | Disaster Relief Research 1.0

Means & Methods The response to naturally, or unnaturally occurring disasters is typically a time of chaotic frenzy functioning as a reactive response to the immediate needs of the affected community. Reactive modes of operation can be very disorienting, where problems surface, patch-work solutions are provided, often to the detriment of other critical needs in the same locale. At the same time, reactive solutions save lives because there are standards that have been established to deal with these critical moments. There are two forces at play—first, stop the bleeding; and second, reach as much critical aid capacity as required as quickly as possible. It is necessary to understand the current means and methods used in disaster relief deployment in order to critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the overall system.

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5

relief challenges

fo o d & s e rv i c e s

h e a lt h & w e l l n e s s

s h e lt e r

o r g a n i z at i o n s

Means & Methods


Relief Challenges

1.1 Affected areas after a disaster tend to be fraught with challenges. Several disaster management systems are employed and enacted in an effort to save lives. Search and rescue operations are initiated immediately. Aid distribution is quickly coordinated so that survivors can have access to food, water, and shelter. But amidst all of this activity, there is a region broken and damaged, and people with unimaginable circumstances. Relief efforts face a series of obstacles in order to provide the necessary services to those affected by the disaster. Principal among the obstacles is communication— coordinating the relief effort among several private and public agencies is an overwhelming task. Although there are some systems, plans and strategies in place, coordination has to occur not only among aid


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organizations, but also with local and federal governments, departments and agencies that sometimes have been adversely affected by the disaster. No relief effort is perfect. Management needs to remain fluid and adaptable to the conditions presented. In the end, these organizations provide critical needs and services to help citizens re-establish themselves. However, the ability of a region to rebound after such an event remains in the resolve of its people. The human race is a very resilient species.

Understanding the Challenges Comprehensive Emergency Management

Recurring Management Challenges

A disaster cycle has 4 phases. Responses must pass through each phase: (1) mitigation, (2) planning, (3) response, and (4) recovery. Pitfalls during transitions can occur throughout the phases. Generalized awareness, proper planning, and contingency plans may reduce the effect of any inadequacy in response. There are generic response tasks that are typical to nearly every type of disaster.

There are system shortcomings. Most emergency response systems do not adapt well to large scale disasters, and support for the research of disaster response results is typically underfunded.

Centralizing, gathering, and sharing information is critical among responding organizations. Additionally, providing information to the affected populations is necessary for effective response management. Logistics are a concern. The coordination of search and rescue, as well as managing unsolicited volunteers during any phase, can be complicated.

Typical Assumptions There is an assumption that panic is a common occurrence—that people, postdisaster, are stunned and suffer from an inability to act rationally. Anti-social behaviors such as crime and looting are often expected reactions in a disaster. In reality, courage, altruism, and selflessness are more well-represented behaviors in affected populations. The Disaster Cycle

Carrying out triage and distributing casualties rationally among available hospitals, as well as managing hazardous materials are all critical to providing effective aid. Paper Plan Syndrome Management plans on paper are typically not followed as intended users frequently are not trained and educated on plan specifics, and key personnel rarely fully realize the plan intentions. Disaster planning and response are based on valid assumptions about human behavior and many of these assumptions prove to be incorrect. Paper plans are typically not coordinated among organizations.

Mitigation Planning

Response Recovery Means & Methods | Relief Challenges


Relief Challenges

Governmental Paradox

Web Information Systems

Infrastructure Challenges

Web Based Resources

The inter-governmental paradox refers to the fact that the local government, which is least likely to see disaster management as a key priority, is most likely to be faced with the responsibility for carrying out the disaster response in an affected area.

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System or the Virtual On-Site Operations Coordination Center provides realtime alerts about natural disasters around the world and tools to facilitate response coordination, including media monitoring, map catalogues and Virtual o s o c c . As an n g o you can request an account at:

In large disasters government and infrastructure may be severely weakened making it very difficult to assist the public. The United Nations (u n ) is the first organization to offer support in disasters that go beyond the resources of the local government. However, local and international n g o ’s (Non-Government Organizations) are usually the ones that can offer the greatest relief on the ground. In Haiti, for example, there are now over 3,000 n g o ’s. Coordinating theses efforts is not easy. Many organizations are working hard to find solutions to these challenges. is the arm of the u n Secretariat that is responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure coherent response to emergencies. o c h a also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort. ocha Other web-based interactive efforts have been launched in an effort to increase coordination. InterAction developed the ngo Aid Map to map their members’ work. By working closely with members, InterAction seeks to ensure that n g o Aid Map is an effective, flexible, and sustainable tool for capturing project information across all countries and sectors. Best practices in select areas can also be featured. The map includes Haiti. Relief Web, launched in 1996, administered by the o c h a , shares information between n g o ’s, un Agencies, and governments. It shares events as they unfold, maps, policies, funding, and has resources for aid workers.


mi ca e n v 390 | Disaster Relief Research 1.0

Standardizing Disaster Relief The Sphere Project

International Disaster Relief Laws (i d r l)

The Sphere Project was launched in 1997 by a group of humanitarian n g o ’s and the Red Cross / Red Crescent organization, who framed a humanitarian charter and identified minimum standards to be attained in disaster relief in each of five key sectors:

This effort led to the publication of the first Sphere Handbook in 2000.

International Disaster Response Laws, Rules and Principles Program (i d r l ) was adopted in 2007 at the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The i d r l guidelines are meant to assist governments to become better prepared for the common legal problems in international response operations. Using the guidelines, governments can avoid needless delays in the dissemination of humanitarian relief while at the same time ensuring better coordination and quality of the assistance provided. Though created by the Red Cross these i d r l guidelines help governments coordinate with all n g o ’s.

Water Supply & Sanitation Nutrition Food Aid Shelter Health Services

Means & Methods | Relief Challenges


Food & Services

1.2 Food transportation and distribution systems are critical to maintaining order and peace in affected areas in a state of recovery. Due to heightened tensions and behaviors bordering on panic in some cases, distribution can become a very complicated effort, often involving armed escorts in an effort to keep order. The most critical aspect of food distribution beyond safety and security is the nutritional value of the products disbursed. Are disaster refugees receiving the proper sustenance to maintain adequate levels of health and wellness? Are water sources clean and of good drinking quality? If either of these conditions are not met, then additional health risks and stresses will be placed on the recovery effort, often causing many unnecessary deaths.


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As many recent disasters have been taking place close to the equator, there is often an aspect of malnutrition prior to the event that must be considered. Recent disasters in Haiti, Pakistan, and even New Orleans have exposed issues related to hunger on a global scale. Current price escalations for the cost of food have placed many regions on the brink of crisis. As developed nations tap into the food chain in search of better, more ecological fuel sources, many under-developed nations struggle to find adequate resources to implement equitable strategies related to feeding their populations. It is a global problem that is in dire need of attention.

Food World Food Programme ( wfp )

High Energy Biscuits (heb )

In emergencies or refugee situations, people may be totally dependent on the World Food Programme ( wfp ) food. In this case, the key components of the wfp food basket are: a staple such as wheat flour or rice; lentils, chickpeas or other pulses; vegetable oil (fortified with vitamin A and D); sugar; and iodized salt. Often these are complemented with special blended foods, such as Corn Soya Blend, that have been fortified with important micronutrients. Besides energy, protein and fat, an adequate food basket supplies micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron, iodine and zinc. The food basket serves to prevent micronutrient deficiencies and other forms of malnutrition, or prevents them from deteriorating. An alternate ration could be ready-to-eat food ( ruf ), which does not require any cooking or preparation and is also fortified with vitamins and minerals.

High Energy Biscuits are wheat-based biscuits that provide 450Kcal with a minimum of 10 grams and max of 15 grams of protein per 100 grams, fortified in vitamins and minerals. They are used in the first days of emergency when cooking facilities are scarce. They are easy to distribute and provide a quick solution to improve the level of nutrition.

Ready-to-Use Foods (ruf )

Price $1.60 per unit (9 bars)

ruf ’s

are better suited to meet the nutritional needs of young and moderate malnourished children. ruf’s distributed by the w f p may contain vegetable fat, dry skim milk, malt dextrin, sugar, and whey. Fortified Blended Foods ( fbf ) fbf ’s are blends of partially precooked and

milled cereals, soya, beans, and pulses fortified with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Special formulations may contain vegetable oil or milk powder. Corn Soya Blend ( csb) is the main blended food distributed by wfp but Wheat Soya Blend ( wsb) is also sometimes used.

Nutritional value per 100g Energy 450Kcal Protein 10 to 15g Fat 15 g Price $0.12 per 100g packet Micronutrient Powder or “Sprinkles” Micronutrient powder is a tasteless powder that is distributed in sachets. One individual sachet provides the daily intake of 16 vitamins and minerals for one person.

Compressed Food Bars ( cfb ) Compressed Food Bars are composed of baked wheat flour, vegetable fat, sugars, soya protein concentrate and malt extract Nutritional value per 56g bar Energy 250 Kcal Protein 8.1 to 15g Fat 15 g Price $1.60 per unit (9 bars)

Means & Methods | Food & Services


Food & Services

Water Fecal Pathogens and Disease The greatest waterborne risk to health in most emergencies is the transmission of fecal pathogens due to inadequate sanitation, hygiene, and protection of water sources. The objective of zero E. coli per 100 ml of water is the goal for all water supplies and should be the target even in emergencies; however, it may be difficult to achieve in the immediate post-disaster period. This highlights the need for appropriate disinfection. An indication of a certain level of fecal bacteria alone is not a reliable guide to microbial water safety. Generally, if a sanitary survey suggests the risk of fecal contamination, then even very low levels of contamination may be considered a risk, especially during an outbreak of a potentially waterborne disease, such as cholera. Quality of Drinking Water The quality of urban drinking-water supplies is particularly at risk following earthquakes, mudslides and other structurally damaging disasters. Water treatment works may be damaged, causing untreated or partially treated water to be distributed, and sewers and water transmission pipes may be broken, causing contamination of drinking water in the distribution system. Floods Floods may contaminate wells, boreholes and surface water sources with fecal bacteria washed from the ground surface or from overflowing latrines and sewers. 15

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food & services organizations m a j o r fo o d d i s t r i b u t i o n m a n ag e r s — Check out these websites to learn more.

Department of Agriculture (




usda ’ s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (


usda ’ s Emergency Food Assistance Program (


usda ’ s Food and Nutrition Services (


Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (


Convoy of Hope (

food for the poor

Food For The Poor, Inc. (

save the children

Save the Children (

action against hunger

Action Against Hunger ( )


The World Food Program ( )


United Nations Childrens Fund (


Ministry of Agriculture (


Food and Agriculture Organization (


Catholic Relief Services ( Means & Methods | Food & Services


Health & Wellness

1.3 Healthcare is one of the more critical aspects of disaster relief. Impacted immediately after a disaster takes place, the flood of services needed typically far outweighs the capacity on the ground. Thus, there is an extreme shortage of available services in the initial hours after an event.

for non-emergency patients, to general health and wellness issues for a population under extreme duress. In the months after a disaster, treatment for mental health issues becomes as necessary as physical health issues due to cases of rape, depression and stress, among other diagnoses.

The situation causes a stress on medical aid that will last for weeks post disaster. Existing infrastructure has to be assessed to determine what is usable, and what is no longer capable of offering support to the situation. Damaged facilities are sometimes turned into stop-gap solutions while the wait for medical tents and trained personnel to arrive from abroad takes place.

The medical aid community benefits greatly from donations and services provided by international organizations at little or no cost. Without these organizations, the gap in services would be too great to bridge.

The process of treatment goes through multiple phases, beginning with Search and Rescue, to Triage, to Delayed services 17

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Drug and Supply Kits Supplied to Medical Aid Centers Basic Units Basic Units contain 24 boxes of supplies which are packaged with medicines, i v fluids, renewable supplies, medical instruments, and clinical guidelines/diagnostics and treatment manuals. The units can care for 1,000 persons for up to 3 months. Supplementary Units Supplementary Units contain medical devices, essential medicines, and equipment for a population of 10,000 persons for a period of 3 months. promess Kit

The promess kit contains donated supplies tailored to meet the needs of displaced populations. promess is a medical aid distribution system developed in Haiti to deal with medical supplies and donations. Mobile Clinic Kit The Mobile Clinic Kit contains a Basic Unit kit and a promess kit. Emergency Health Kit The Emergency Health kit contains 10 Basic Units and 1 Supplementary Unit. Reproductive Health Kit The Reproductive Health kit contains condoms, obstetric supplies, and sexually transmitted infection supplies. Means & Methods | Health & Wellness


Health & Wellness


Efforts & Funds

(Programme de Medcaments Essentiels)

Partners in Health (pih )

is the principal provider of essential medicines and medical supplies in the Republic of Haiti. It was created in 1992 with funding from the World Bank, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States, unfpa , unicef , and the European Commission, as well as partners in Haiti’s Management Council, chaired by the Minister of Public Health. promess played a critical role in receiving and distributing medical relief aid, following the January 12th earthquake.

As of November 30, 2010, pih had received $97 million for relief and reconstruction work in Haiti. A substantial amount of these donations were contributed specifically to support the Stand with Haiti plan and designated for long-term rebuilding and strengthening of Haiti’s public health and health education systems.


By the end of February, promess had distributed nearly 2.5 million dollars ( usd ) in medicines and supplies free of charge to around 250 different aid organizations. p r o m e s s made drugs and medical supplies available to all public health facilities and national and international ngo ’s that were providing free health services to the affected populations in Haiti. In early April, the Ministry of Public Health and Population extended free access to medicines until July 12, 2010. Currently, promess continues to partner with Haiti’s government for the distribution of health packages to all mobile clinics, public hospitals, and ngo ’s. In March 2010, 100 Mobile Clinic kits were distributed in all priority areas affected by the Haitian earthquake. By the summer, all hospitals had received enough Basic Units required to meet the population demands.


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Stand with Haiti Plan “Stand With Haiti” Plan: The $125-million Stand with Haiti plan, announced less than a month after the earthquake, clearly outlined programs and priorities for the 2.5year period from January 2010 through June 30, 2012. Following the outbreak of the cholera epidemic in October 2010, the Stand with Haiti fund has been expanded to include an additional $10 million to support cholera prevention and treatment activities. msf Human Resources

= = =

20 s ta f f p e r s o n s h a i t i a n s ta f f i n t e r n at i o n a l s ta f f

Perspectives on Haiti Doctors Without Borders (msf ) Efforts — Year to Date January 12–October 31, 2010 Human Resources Haitian staff International staff

2,844 260

Medical Facilities Operating theaters Number of beds Hospitals rehabilitated New construction Fixed sites (max for period) Mobile clinics Cholera treatment centers

t e n ts d i s t r i b u t e d ja n . 12 – o ct . 31, 2010

15 1,121 10 6 12 3 47

Medical Activities Patients treated Surgical operations

358,758 16,578

Types of Treatments Post operative care Violence-related trauma Other trauma Cholera Psycho-social & mental health Deliveries Sexual Violence


10,939 7,110 38,534 91,000 177,212 15,105 696


500 t e n ts

516,000 l i t e r s o f wat e r d i s t r i b u t e d da i ly

Logistical Equipment Relief kits distributed Tents distributed Liters of water distributed per day Latrines built

85, 000 45,940 516,000 823


2,000 l i t e r s

Means & Methods | Health & Wellness


Health & Wellness

One-Year Haiti Reports Annual Reports After one year of service, organizations compiled annual reports to analyze and set goals for the upcoming challenges facing Haiti’s reconstruction. These reports show how organizational money was spent. Doctors Without Borders ( dwb ) — Year to Date January 12–October 31, 2010 Category

us Dollars


National Staff Logistics Transport & Freight International Staff Medical Running Costs Consultants Other Training

24,514,517 24,281,445 19,753,450 16,661,725 16,198,567 2,790,670 403,919 238,490 134,995

23% 23% 15% 23% 19% 3% .13% .38% .23%



Catholic Relief Services ( crs ) — First 9 months (as of October 31, 2010) Category

us Dollars


Food & Livelihoods Emergency Response Shelter Water & Sanitation Health & Hospitals Support Costs Education & Child Protection Church Partnership Other Programming

21,663,953 14,858,908 10,328,874 4,180,999 3,537,700 2,474,575

36% 25% 17% 7% 6% 4%

1,800,730 1,059,169 12,653

3% 2%




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1.4 One of the most critical needs in disaster relief is shelter. Beyond the clear needs for water, food and medical attention that save lives in the immediate aftermath, shelter is critical to long term stability. Shelter is a basic human right. It provides dignity, safety, protection, and a sense of awareness—giving individuals an identifiable place to live their lives from. Without shelter, these characteristics of human habitation can not exist, which results in behavioral disorders, psychological trauma, and a general disconnection from the rest of society. Thus, it becomes difficult to understand the existence of massive shelter gaps in disaster relief scenarios like Haiti and Pakistan after their most recent disasters. Although shelter is not necessarily lifesaving, it is certainly life-affirming, giving 23

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persons a platform from which they can begin the process of rebuilding their lives. The critical months after a disaster that typically shape the future outlook of an affected region can be projected to define outcome. If the situation with shelter ishandled deliberately, with skill and acumen, and in a method that provides human dignity and identity, then it can be assumed that the rebuilding process will succeed on many levels. If shelter is provided in haphazard fashion, with significant shortages after the 6-month period, then issues of crime, disease, spikes in the rate of pregnancy, and a general malaise begin to take hold in the affected areas. Shelter should be considered a need equivalent to medical aid, food and water—a critical need whose impact, although less noticeable, can have the power to invigorate renewal.

Types of Shelter Emergency These types of shelters are considered temporary in support of those displaced by conditions of the disaster. The recommended time frame for Emergency Shelter usage is 1 to 6 months before transferring to Transitional Shelter. Transitional Transitional shelters are the second phase of disaster relief shelter. They replace the outmoded Emergency Shelters, typically within the first year post-disaster. The recommended time frame for Transitional Shelter usage is 1 to 3 years post-disaster. Permanent The rebuilding phase of disaster response results in permanent housing to support the displaced population. Because of planning requirements, including new regulations as a result of the disaster, this shelter type takes longer to achieve—ideally ready after the 3rd anniversary of the disaster. Means & Methods | Shelter



Emergency Shelter Typical Qualities


An emergency shelter should be considered a temporary solution for affected populations.

Shelter is often deployed within the first 72 hours, thus materials are not limited.

An emergency shelter often facilitates support groups that also provide services to affected populations.

Usable materials in the arena of the disaster are often salvaged and used, including natural materials, such as leaves and branches.

The timeline for deployment and use is based on the possibilities and requirements of the situation, but is typically implemented for as long as it takes affected populations to sustain themselves.

The goals of the emergency shelter are safety, protection, and suitable constructability.

In disaster relief the emergency stage can last much longer than intended due to complications with site selection, political uneasiness in post-disaster arenas, material shortages, and land ownership issues. An emergency shelter should be used for periods of 3 to 6 months. Types of Emergency Shelters Temporary structures: tents or tarpaulins. Buildings that are still intact such as schools, churches, and public indoor spaces are are repurposed for emergency shelter. Designated buildings: some disaster-prone regions also have buildings planned for emergency shelter. The Superdome in New Orleans for instance, was part of the city’s emergency management plan.


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People use empty bags filled with local soil, placed in a circle to create space. People use materials such as poles, tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, and fabric. People use manufactured tents when they are distributed and available. Reclaimed debris, such as doors, wood from houses, bed frames and furniture can also be used.

emergency shelter organizations m a j o r e m e r g e n c y s h e lt e r d i s t r i b u t i o n m a n ag e r s — Check out these websites to learn more. uni

United Nations International (


International Federation of Red Cross ( )


Red Crescent International ( )


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (


Architecture for Humanity (


Habitat for Humanity (


Shelter Box (

innovation in emergency shelter s h e lt e r p r otot y p e s — Innovators looking at possibilities. Check out these websites to learn more. the bubble house

green horizon

folded bamboo house

recover Means & Methods | Shelter



Transitional Shelter Typical Qualities Typical T-Shelters will hold up to 5 people. They are made to last 1-3 years, but usually require life cycles up to 5 years. They can be transformed into permanent housing by reconstituting materials or by adding onto the structure. They are composed of plywood walls and/or steel frames, considered durable enough to stand up to strong winds, but are not meant for long-term housing. The distribution of T-Shelters often has gaps in delivery time resulting in the shelters being built within months, not weeks. T-Shelters replace outmoded Emergency Shelters, during the second phase of disaster relief which is typically within the first year post-disaster. In disaster relief the emergency stage can last much longer than intended due to complications with site selection, political uneasiness in post-disaster arenas, material shortages, and land ownership issues. The immediate need for shelter reconstruction assistance can be legally offered only when land rights are established, often to a degree that exceeds local tradition. As a result, affected people may not receive


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timely assistance or may even remain displaced for long periods beyond the risk from conflicts or natural hazards, sometimes for many years. Many of the poorest people affected by conflict or disaster may not have owned their former homes or land, especially in urban areas. Further, the aid community has very little understanding of how to support tenants and the landless in achieving durable housing solutions. The common perception within the aid community is that shelter is humanitarian and life-saving, while reconstruction is developmental and linked to recovery. Assistance to reconstruction often begins only many months after a disaster. This rarely reflects the priorities of affected populations, who begin to recover materials and stabilize their homes as shelter in the first days after a disaster. Due to inconsistent support to reconstruction, which often happens too fast and with insufficient consultation, inappropriate housing can result—sometimes even perpetuating the vulnerability of those affected.

Materials Wood, timber, and plywood sheathing are used for walls and roofs. Corrugated sheet metal is used as roofing material for improved durability. Earthbag shelters and rudimentary plaster are less prevalently used materials. Shipping containers have been explored as solutions but are typically not conducive to tropical climates. Challenges Lack of plumbing, utilities, and heat. Location of safe areas for the disposal of human waste and the distribution of clean water to shelters. The pace of construction typically does not equal the needs of the affected population. Siting away from problem areas Obtaining supplies for building Instituting sufficient design guidelines Bringing supplies to the proposed site Obtaining permission from land owners Means & Methods | Shelter



Permanent Shelter Typical Qualities The final stage in reconstruction is the shift from Transitional Shelters to Permanent Shelter or housing. Permanent Shelter typically evolves from planning processes, committee operations who are sometimes elected for this purpose, and government organizations who make tough decisions on land rights and acquisition for the purpose of constructing new communities. Insurance is a major component of this phase. In the case of post-Katrina New Orleans, f e m a had established new flood level guidelines that provoked insurance companies to make strict requirements on elevated floor levels throughout the city. Land rights are also often still being debated during this stage of reconstruction (usually some 3-5 years post-disaster). In poorer nations and third world countries, most land is owned by a select few individuals who often exploit their position to provide land back to the government for redevelopment. Other issues to land rights include oral transactions or family inheritance. Such was the case in many of the poorer areas of New Orleans, where many individuals did not obtain deeds from a history of occupation that originated multiple generations before they became the property stewards.


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Katrina Cottage

Pallet House

New Orleans Permanent Shelter

Recycled Pallets as Material

Katrina Cottage is the name given to the small transitional shelters designed by a small group of Mississippi architects for the Mississippi Renewal Forum charrette, where it was first proposed. It is constructed with hurricane-resistant materials and designed to withstand hurricane force winds. It may be temporary or permanent but it is designed to expand into permanent dwelling house. They are delivered at the same cost of a f e m a trailer. The early original cottage cost was $70,000 for 308 sf (with expansion possibilities). f e m a trailers have cost American taxpayers the same for only an 18-month lifespan.

Designed by Azin Valy and Suzan Wines of I-Beam Design, the Recycled Pallet House developed from the idea that 84% of the world’s refugees could be housed with a single year’s supply of recycled American pallets. Pallets are specifically designed for transport and delivery—so cost is negligible when carrying shipments of food, water or medicine to affected areas.

They use factory-made panels so they can be built quickly (often within a few days) and economically, and are designed to meet the International Building Code and Florida hurricane codes. They are typically one-story, with a front porch, and turn-of-the century details such as turned columns and brackets. They use rot and termite-resistant siding such as cementitious hardboard. Other materials include: steel studs, metal roofing, and moldresistant drywall. They also come equipped with energy-efficient appliances.

A 250 square-foot Pallet House requires 100 recycled pallets nailed and lifted into place, using 4-5 workers with hand tools in under one week. These structures require skinning and insulation in some cases, depending on the location—plastic sheeting can be used to resist the elements, but a sturdier, and more durable material would be required for roofing membranes. Means & Methods | Shelter



1.5 Aid organizations are the critical providers in affected locations’ time of need. Without these organizations and the people representing them, a catastrophic event turns into complete chaos. Organizations provide a multitude of services in response to disasters—most notably search and rescue at the initial stages post-disaster. Medical aid and services bridge the gap from search and rescue through recovery and into the stage of rebuilding. Additional services include food assistance, shelter, sanitation, planning, management, and more recently cash and food for work programs that help people get back on their feet. All of these services can be seen as critical to keeping a region in distress from becoming chaotic. These organizations are often 33

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well funded, but rely heavily on volunteers and donations. Without continued public support, many opportunities for disaster relief assistance would disappear.

Services Provided The services provided by various aid organizations include the following sectors: Search and Rescue Shelter and Sanitation Medical Aid Food Assistance Camp Management Information and Planning Cash / Food For Work Programs

Prominent Relief Organizations organization websites i n t e r n at i o n a l d i s a s t e r r e s p o n s e a i d — Check out these websites to learn more. action aid intl

ActionAid International ( )


AmeriCares ( )


American Jewish World Service (


American Red Cross (


International Federation of Red Cross ( )


Red Crescent International ( )


Catholic Medical Mission Board (


Catholic Relief Services (


Direct Relief International (


Doctors without Borders (


Medecins Sans Frontieres (


Food For The Poor, Inc. (


Grameen Foundation, u s a (


Habitat For Humanity (


International Crisis Aid (


Mercy Corps (


Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (


Relief International (


Samaritan’s Purse International Relief (


United Nations (


United States Agency for International Development (


World Food Program (


World Bank Group (

world relief

World Relief (


World Vision International ( Means & Methods | Organizations



resources Relief Challenges Sources “Disaster Planning,” by Craig A. Goolsby, m d , and Jerry L. Mothershead, m d — “Disaster Response: Principles of Preparation and Coordination,” by Eric Auf der Heide— Relief Challenges Images Pg 12, Cité Soleil — photography credit, Tessa Tripodi Food & Services Sources “From Food Rebellions to Food Sovereignty: Urgent call to fix a broken food system,” by Eric Holt-Giménez and Loren Peabody — Institute for Food and Development Policy, May 16, 2008 “Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis; Internal World Bank study delivers blow to plant energy drive,” by Aditya Chakrabortty — The Guardian, July 4, 2008 Food & Services Images Pg 15, Cité Soleil — photography credit, Tessa Tripodi Pg 16, Health & Wellness Images w h o 1 Year Report — Annual Report from Doctors Without Borders published online Annual Report from Catholic Relief Services published online Health & Wellness Images Pg 22 — Shelter Sources See websites listed within text, pgs 23-30 Shelter Images Pg 25, Cité Soleil — photography credit, David Lopez Pg 26, Cité Soleil — photography credit, David Lopez Pg 28, Cité Soleil — photography credit, Kallie Sternburgh Pg 29, Cité Soleil — photography credit, Tessa Tripodi Pg 30, Recycled Pallet House — Pg 31-32, Cité Soleil — photography credit, David Lopez Organizations Sources See websites listed within text, pg 34



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Case Studies Understanding the current means and methods, and becoming familiar with the various logistical issues associated with typical disaster response, is only useful in a general sense. A response in action under the venue of an actual disaster relief effort can provide more insight. Here four separate tragedies are studied with focus on the event itself, the relief effort, and the statistical model that could be used to define the tragedy. Each case study is analyzed through the lens of the five means and methods in the previous chapters—Relief Challenges, Food & Services, Health & Wellness, Shelter, and Organizations involved in ther recovery process. Through this specific research we are able to develop an isolated picture of the catastrophe and the ensuing relief effort.

2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

i n d i a n o c e a n e a rt h q ua k e & ts u n a m i • 2004

h u r r i ca n e kat r i n a • 2005

h a i t i e a rt h q ua k e • 2010

pa k i s ta n f l o o d s • 2010

Case Studies


Case Study Statistics

ACCUMULATED DEATH TOLLS case study global disasters g e o g r a p h i ca l l o cat i o n s & ac c u m u l at e d d e at h to l l s

d e c e m b e r 26 , 2004 • au g u s t 26-29 , 2004 • ja n ua ry 12 , 2010 • ja n ua ry - o cto b e r 2010

238,000 230,000

1,836 1,781

h a i t i e a rt h q ua k e

pa k i s ta n f l o o d s

i n d i a n o c e a n e a rt h q ua k e & ts u n a m i


mi ca e n v 390 | Disaster Relief Research 1.0

h u r r i ca n e kat r i n a


200 d e at h s

i n d i a n o c e a n e a rt h q ua k e & ts u n a m i

h u r r i ca n e kat r i n a

h a i t i e a rt h q ua k e

pa k i s ta n f l o o d s

Case Studies | Case Studies Statistics


Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami


sumatra, indonesia

i n d o n e s i a , s r i l a n ka , t h a i l a n d , m a l d i v e s , a m o n g ot h e r s d e c e m b e r 26 , 2004

An undersea, mega-thrust earthquake occurred at 00:58:53 u tc on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake was caused by subduction and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean. 230,000 people were killed in 14 countries. Waves were up to 30 meters (100 feet) high. The quake was between 9.1 and 9.3 on the seismograph— making it the third largest quake recorded in present history.


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9.1-9.3 230,000 r i c h t e r s ca l e m ag n i t u d e r e c o r d i n g

ca s ua lt i e s i n 14 c o u n t r i e s , p r i m a r i ly i n d o n e s i a

Affected Countries



thailand s r i l a n ka


Epicenter of First Earthquake

Epicenter of Second Earthquake

dat e


dat e



00:58:53 u tc


04:21:25 u tc

l o cat i o n

Northern Sumatra

l o cat i o n

Nicobar Islands, India

m ag n i t u d e


m ag n i t u d e


126,473 5,395

d e at h s i n i n d o n e s i a

d e at h s i n t h a i l a n d

40,000 82

d e at h s i n s r i l a n ka

d e at h s i n m a l d i v e s

Case Studies | Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami


Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami

Indonesia Disaster Facts Indonesia sustained the worst human losses and physical damage in the tsunami and earthquake of December 26, 2004. The western tip of the island of Sumatra—the closest inhabited area to the earthquake’s epicenter—was devastated. Some coastal villages are thought to have lost more than 70% of their inhabitants. Much of the fishing and agricultural sectors in Aceh province were heavily damaged and 44% of people lost their livelihoods, according to the Asian Development Bank. Total u.s. Government Assistance to Indonesia was u s d 42,150,215. The Government of Indonesia had formulated a three stage action plan: Emergency measures (December 2004–January 2005) Rehabilitation measures (February 2005–February 2006) Reconstruction measures (concurrent with rehabilitation stage) The Ministry of Trade had allocated i d r 8 billion (u s d 890,000) to build 240 emergency markets across the province of Banda Aceh and for the immediate reconstruction of 30 markets in the six worst hit regencies. 252,000 houses were destroyed or partially destroyed, all within 5km of the coast. In the immediate weeks following the tsunami, the majority of emergency shelter needs were met by the Indonesian military,


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Indonesian organizations and beneficiaries themselves. This was due to logistical challenges and the fact that foreign access was limited by infrastructure damage and travel restrictions resulting from the ongoing conflict. Shelter was provided in collective tents, existing buildings, individual family tents, by use of plastic sheeting and by families moving inland to where the damage was not as bad. Shelter Project Lead by u n - h a b i tat , this program began with the concept of community-built, ‘transitional’ timber-framed shelters, managed and was implemented by the community over a period of months. Due to the challenges in procuring legal or sustainable timber, local politics, the availability of significant funds and the number of other ngo’s working in the area, the project evolved into a program to build houses made from reinforced concrete and brick. The program lasted over three years. Towards the end of the program, many of the shelters were built by partner organizations. 126,473 dead 93,943 missing (presumed dead) 406,156 displaced

Maldives Disaster Facts Only 8 of the 199 inhabited islands were unaffected by the disaster. Nearly 2,200 homes were destroyed and 3,600 seriously damaged. 14% of the entire nation’s housing was affected. An estimated 16,000 internally displaced people either lived with host families or were in temporary housing. Why were the Maldives less affected? The islands unique ocean topography of coral reefs and mangroves played a crucial role in absorbing some of the impact of the waves before making landfall. The Maldives is entirely made up of atolls and associated coral structures. Extensive and largely intact reefs are found in pristine conditions and comprises one of the most complex reef systems in the world. A national Environmental Action Plan in the Maldives was drawn up by the government in 1989 which outlawed blast fishing and coral mining, in sharp contrast to other areas in the Indian Ocean such as Sri Lanka who have depleted much of their coral reef due to fishing and mining. 53 of the 199 total islands suffered extensive damage and around 20 were totally destroyed, including the Alifu Alifu Atoll (Kandholhudhoo). Due to ground water contamination the government was forced to evacuate the entire Kandholhudhoo community of 3,600 people. Following the evacuation, the community was split up to live in temporary housing on 5 different islands.

The Red Cross built some 600 houses and accompanying services on a previously uninhabited island, Dhuvaafaru in the Raa Atoll, for up to 4,000 people from the Kandholhudhoo community among others. Despite a relatively low death toll of 82 people the Maldives suffered vast economic impact to their biggest industry –tourism. At the time, the tourism sector accounted for 81 percent of the gross domestic product with total revenue estimated at $415 million in 2004. Pre-tsunami scenario indicators reveal that the hotel sector had provided 17,000 jobs for the country’s economically active population of 88,000. Tourism in the Maldives has been responsible for over 25,000 jobs. Over 20% of the country’s approximately 600,000 annual visitors are divers who come to see reefs, dive spots, and marine protected areas.



map placeholder

82 dead 26 missing (presumed dead)

Case Studies | Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami


Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami

Thailand Disaster Facts Six provinces were affected in the Andaman coastal area: Phang Nga, Trang, Krabi, Ranong, Satun and the resort island of Phuket. The tsunami devastated mostly oceanfront properties, i.e. hotels, but Thailand’s infrastructure (residences, water and electricity, transportation) was left relatively unscathed.

The Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, assigned different areas to different ministers and there were 7 pivotal relief activities:

By January 2, 2005, the Bangkok Post reported that search and rescue efforts were done and a second stage of recovery, the rehabilitation of homes and tourist areas, had begun. This effort was supported by a budget of about 1.5 billion baht ($38 million u s d ). By the end of February, the u . s . had wrapped up its relief efforts in Thailand.

Repairing & Reconstructing roads

Thailand’s rapid coordination of effective grassroots efforts was praised internationally; response was also fast due to the large presence of European consulates in Thailand because of the death of tourists, including 1,900 Swedes, 730 Germans, 500 Austrians, 400 Brits and 330 Italians.


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Search & Rescue Retrieving corpses Autopsy & Identification Assisting tourists’ repatriation Restoring electricity & telecommunication Receiving & Distributing relief aid Containing potential epidemics 5,395 dead (about half of which were foreign vacationers) 3,062 missing (majority presumed dead)

Items Requested

Other Types of Assistance from the un

The Humanitarian Relief and Assistance Coordination Task Force of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested many items for “possible assistance.� Review of such a list provides insights to the needs in tsunami-related recovery.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance Affairs ( ) provided relief supplies with an estimated value of us d $50,000.

Metal caskets/coffins (for international transportation) Medical supplies (such as first-aid kits, dressing sets, gauze and bandages Medicines (especially anti-diarrhea, antibiotics and antiseptics) Rubber gloves, masks Tents and office supplies Blanket, clothes, shoes, sandals, underwear, pants and sanitary napkins Heavy equipment (such as excavator and bulldozers) Power generators Water purifiers Forensic pathologist (especially who can speak English) and mass disaster relief team)

undp donated usd $100,000 and sent relief

officials and observers. They supplied 2 tons of formaldehyde and 1,000 body bags

donated usd $150,000 and deployed local staff to the provinces. They assessed short and long-term needs in affected areas, including local fishing communities. u n i c e f also focused on providing water, sanitation facilities and food for those in the affected areas, especially children, as well as reviewing the long-term needs for education, psychological support, and livelihood redevelopment. unicef

(World Food Program) arranged funding worth u s d $500,000 to buy food in support of the disaster response. A Thai i r a e m o p (Immediate Response Account/ Emergency Operations) was also arranged for the w f p . wfp

Freezer containers for storing bodies Communication equipment Dried or canned food and rice Case Studies | Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami


Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami

Sri Lanka Disaster Facts Sri Lanka was the hardest-hit southern coastal district. Food & Agriculture Organization (fao )

World Food Program’s (wfp ) Response

Local communities were involved in severe food security problems due to parents and relatives that had lost their lives, ruined livelihood assets, and sources of income that no longer existed. Donors such as Belgium, the European Commission, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, supported and showed interest in the fao ’s initial appeal for $26 million. Overall, around two million people in 12 different countries in the region were in need of food assistance. There were large rice supplies available in the region and due to that it was suggested that local purchases be made whenever possible in order to meet food aid requirements. Fisheries and agriculture in coastal areas, especially in Sri Lanka, were severely hit. Relief efforts had the responsibility to make sure local farmers and fishermen knew that once their assistance needs were covered, they were to restart farming and fishing as soon as possible.

A 12-month time span was covered and divided into two phases: The relief phase of three months, ending in March, and the recovery phase of another nine months ending in December 2005.

Sri Lanka contained the largest areas of rice paddy growing in the region. When the tsunami hit, 60 percent of the total rice production for the year had just been planted and unfortunately was lost. The harvest, scheduled to start in March, 2005 had deteriorated. At that point the country’s incredibly tight food supply situation reached critical levels. 47

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With the proposed approach the caseload of directly affected beneficiaries went down from 845,000 to 650,000 in March, to 500,000 in April and 270,000 in September. The planning was effective. The assessment showed later that from April onwards, more targeted interventions took over free food distribution. The recovery phase consisted of a shift from targeting only affected households to a more inclusive approach that considered pre-disaster vulnerabilities in the affected areas. This was a unique circumstance in recovery. 40,000 dead 2.5 million people displaced


Response: Water & Sanitation

Locally-manufactured gully emptiers created by a local company to u n i c e f specifications were sent to Matara on February 6th and were a success. u n i c e f and local officials of the Ministry of Health monitored its effectiveness for the first several weeks. Around 1.5 million household water purification sachets donated to unicef by AmeriCares arrived in Colombo. These provided safe water to displaced families. Water and sanitation facilities in schools were constructed with local education officials and u n i c e f continued to help the construction of latrines and water supply maintenance in all districts. Additionally, unicef constructed 33 groups of bathing facilities—17 in Kilinochchi transit camps and 16 in Mullaitivu transit camps.

Shelter Strategy The basic principles of the adopted shelter strategy were based on the Sphere standards. A coastal buffer zone, requested by the National Government, was established. Construction never took place within 100m of the high-tide mark in the south and other areas west within 200m. There was a major challenge to find land to rebuild on which caused many families to live far from their livelihoods and forced the creation of many new housing camps. Shelters had to be simple to construct and to have mobility, to help people as they moved out from living in camps. Most basic shelters were made of box-bar metal frames which were the basic skeleton of the shelter so that even people with weak physical strength could assemble them. Metal frames also meant shelters could be relocated and reused if necessary.

Early Warning Systems Since 2004 stations equipped with seismometers, g p s stations, and wave gauges have been implemented to monitor wave activity. Reports from these stations are converted into an incident map upon notable conditions with suitable notice levels for influenced areas of the Indian Ocean coastline. The German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (g i t e w s ) is a project of the German Government at the reconstruction of the tsunami-prone region of the Indian Ocean. It is formed upon a multiple of opposing sensors, whose executive component is a quick and accurate transmission of data with research regarding the cause (the earthquake), upheld by g p s measurements.

The World Bank The World Bank’s main priority was to support the Sri Lankan Government by assisting people to win back their livelihoods, restore basic services, and begin the recovery and reconstruction process. The World Bank Commitment of usd $150 million— was disbursed as of December 18, 2006 to: Owner-Driven Housing: u s d $65 million Livelihood Support: u s d $34 million Roads & Infrastructure: u s d $34 million Health: u s d $8 million Capacity Building: u s d $5 million Contingency: u s d $4 million

Case Studies | Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami


resources Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami Sources Figures from s b s World News, March 24, 2005 “Tsunami Affected Countries Face Severe Local Food Security Problems,” by Northoff, Erwin u n a m i _m a l d i v e s _l ayo u t .pdf (b b c News), Shelter, Housing, Land and Property 2008, Shelter projects — u n i – h a b i tat (w w w Virtual Library - Tsunami – Worst Ever Tragedy in Sri Lanka History.) Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami Images Pg 49 — Kalutara, Sri Lanka — photography credit, DigitalGlobe/Getty Images

Case Studies | Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami


Hurricane Katrina

2.2 u n i t e d s t a t e s o f am e r i c a the gulf of mexico au g u s t 26-29 , 2005

On August 26, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Florida as a Category 1 level storm. Two days later, as the storm left Florida and floated out over the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane increased in strength dramatically, becoming a well-formed Category 5 level storm. At 6:10 a.m. on August 29, Katrina made landfall a second time in Buras-Triumph, Louisiana as a Category 3 level storm, with wind speeds up to 125 mph. As the storm tracked due north, the impact it left behind, particularly in the city of New Orleans, was devastating. The storm surge overwhelmed the city’s complex levee systems, causing some 53 different levee breaches in the Greater New Orleans area. The day after, as much as 80% of the city was under water. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in u . s . history.


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1,836 81 billion 140,845 n u m b e r o f d e at h s

e s t . da m ag e s : c o s t l i e s t d i s a s t e r i n u . s . h i s to ry

n e w o r l e a n s l o s s i n p o p u l at i o n b et w e e n 2000-2010

a r ka n s a s mississippi



louisiana t e xa s f l o r i da

New Orleans

8/29 6:10 am Landfall

8/28 12:00 8/28 00:00 8/27 12:00 8/27 00:00 8/26 12:00 =

h u r r i ca n e cat e g o ry

AUG 26 12:00 AUG 27 00:00 AUG 27 12:00

cat e g o ry 2 h u r r i ca n e o f f f l o r i da c oa s t

cat e g o ry 3 h u r r i ca n e

cat e g o ry 4 h u r r i ca n e

AUG 28 00:00 AUG 28 12:00 AUG 29 6:10 cat e g o ry 5 h u r r i ca n e

cat e g o ry 5 h u r r i ca n e

m a k e s l a n d fa l l a s cat e g o ry 3 s to r m

Case Studies | Hurricane Katrina


Hurricane Katrina

The Port of New Orleans History

Some Particulars

Logistically, New Orleans port is one of the most important commerce centers in the United States, serving as the gateway between the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, leading to the Midwest. The port has developed over the years as the city has developed. However in 1965, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (m r g o ) was completed, connecting the Intercoastal Waterway with the Gulf of Mexico, significantly shortening the route of shipping vessels that typically had to navigate the twists and turns of the lower Mississippi River to reach open waters.

New Orleans is logistically one of the most important urban areas in the u . s .: Steel is New Orlean’s top commodity, more than 5 million tons were imported in 2000. More than 6,000 vessels go through the port annually. It is the world’s busiest waterway. It is the second largest port in the u . s . for importing coffee. It is the 6th largest port in the u . s . Chief exports include grain and other agricultural produce from the Midwest, and petroleum. New Orleans handles more trade with Latin America than any other u . s . port. It has the world’s longest wharf, spanning 2.01 miles, which can accommodate 15 vessels simultaneously. The Port of New Orleans handles about 50,000 barges annually. With the Port of Southern Louisiana, creates world’s busiest port system (Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River). 500 tons of cargo is moved on the Mississippi each year. It has America’s only deep water port served by six class-one railroads. New Orleans handles half of the grain exports in the u . s .


mi ca e n v 390 | Disaster Relief Research 1.0

The Levee System Man-Made Flood Walls New Orleans is located within the Mississippi River Delta, south of Lake Pontchartrain and west of Lake Borgne. Originally the city settled on the natural levees and high grounds along the banks of the Mississippi, when the capital of French Louisiana was moved here from Mobile, Alabama explicitly for the reasons that it was considered an inland location, safer from the effects of hurricanes. After the Flood Control Act of 1965, the u . s . Army Corps of Engineers constructed a series of man-made flood walls and levees around a much larger geographic footprint that included what was previously wetlands and swamp north of Gentilly Ridge. A topic of debate exists as to whether or not the city is actually subsiding, or sinking. As much of the city is constructed on soft sand and silt, the levee system could be blamed for relieving the soils from naturally occurring sediment deposits that would typically replenish any grounds lost by processes of subsidence. However the levee system was installed in an effort to make the waterways “predictable.” The Mississippi River historically shifted as sediment washing down river from points north would deposit in random locations which pushed the outline of the river from side to side. This process was the main source of build-up for the wetlands that have protected New Orleans

for decades. Now that the river is being controlled with man-made structures, these wetlands are disappearing at alarming rates, putting the entire southern coast of Louisiana at risk. Of interest is the role of the u . s . Army Corps of Engineers (u s ac e ), whose role in the city’s levee system has been under scrutiny since the city was devastated by the effects of Hurricane Betsy in 1965. The u s ac e ’s Hurricane Protection Program came into existence as a result. The Corps built new levees for New Orleans that were both taller and made of stronger material, designed specifically to resist a fast-moving Category 3 hurricane like Betsy. The resulting levee improvements failed when Katrina, a large, slow-moving and intense storm churned across the waters south of the city, creating an overwhelming storm surge—some 18 feet high. The levee system before the hurricane consisted of walls that were expected to be approximately 17 feet in depth into the peat-based soils. In addition to unstable soil underneath the levees, there is evidence of poor structural integrity in many parts of the system, which could explain the failures. In a forensic investigation after the storm, scientists and privately hired engineers found that some levees were not 17 feet in depth, but 10 feet.

Case Studies | Hurricane Katrina


Hurricane Katrina

The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet Convenience or Disaster? Before the m r g o , navigation was limited to the Mississippi River. More earth was dredged to construct the m r g o than was moved to construct the Panama Canal. Ships could now bypass the winding river by taking the m r g o and reconnecting to the Mississippi River through the Interharbor Navigation Canal Lock (i n c l ) at the end of the Intercoastal Waterway. Since it opened in 1965, the m r g o has been considered an economic disaster. When it originally opened, the Port of New Orleans proposed a plan to largely abandon the port wharfs along the Mississippi River, relocating its activities to the inner harbor created by the Industrial Canal, the Intercoastal Waterway and the m r g o . But the project never secured enough funding and was minimally realized. The Port then refocused efforts on improving the infrastructure along the Mississippi River so as to keep pace with the rival Port of Houston with its Houston Ship Canal constructed in 1914. The m r g o has had relatively little maritime traffic since. The annual cost of maintenance and the price tag for its original construction have been met with much criticism. 55

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Additionally, the m r g o has generated numerous environmental problems, with bank erosion at a rate of 15 feet per year. Originally developed at a width of 650 feet, it is now more than 3 times as wide. Levees along the m r g o and the Intercoastal Waterway were breached in approximately 20 locations during Hurricane Katrina, serving as the direct cause of the flooding of the St. Bernard Parish and New Orleans East. Some reports indicate that the m r g o serves as an “amplifier� of the effects of storm surge, increasing the impact of surges by up to 40%. Following the storm, an engineering investigation and computer modeling showed that the outlet intensified the initial surge by 20 percent, raised the height of the wall of water about three feet, and increased the velocity of the surge from 3 feet per second (0.9 m/s) to 8 feet per second (2.4 m/s) in the funnelshaped region between the converging m r g o and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Such intensities could be considered principal factors in the undermining of the levee system and floodwalls which failed during the event, costing approximately $81 billion dollars in damages.

Interpreting The Census The Before and After Census statistics show that Post-Katrina New Orleans has become a more intelligent city. The percentage of the population with high school degrees and college diplomas has become more aligned with u . s . averages. Median incomes have gotten much closer to u . s . averages, and although New Orleans can still be considered a very poor city by u . s . standards, with much higher than average families and individuals living below the poverty level, the percentages would indicate improvement in these areas since the disaster occurred. Additionally, the trend in the city regarding race is trending toward more Whites and Hispanics. The most broken areas in the city were those areas more intensely affected by the adverse condition of extended flooding— the areas where water stayed for longer periods until repairs could be made to the levee system and the water pumped out. These areas tend to be the “deepest” in the city— meaning the areas lowest in relation to sea level. A good portion of the land north of i -10 was historically a wetland area that served as a buffer zone between the city of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. Also drastically affected, were the Lower Ninth Ward and the Holy Cross Neighborhood, which lie just to the east of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (m r g o ), which had 20 breaches in its levee system causing much of the flooding in East New Orleans. East New Orleans had documented troubles in the effort to recover. The area was known as a haven for African Americans who wanted a home—single family homeownership had its appeal in the predominantly black neighborhood. However, since the mid-1980’s, the area has struggled with ear-

ly signs of urban decay, and damages to the area were so severe that the bulk of the residents left in the days, weeks, and months following Katrina—in some cases permanently. Rebuilding efforts have been slow to East New Orleans. Many businesses opted not to re-open after the hurricane. Utility services were not fully restored to the area until nearly 1 year after the hurricane, leaving much of the area uninhabitable. By January 2007, less than half of the population of East New Orleans had returned, many living in f e m a trailers as they attempted to repair their homes some 18 months after the disaster. Infrastructure is still a problem today—with only 1 grocery store at present for the 50,000 residents currently living in the area. In addition, neither Methodist nor Lakeland Hospitals managed to re-open after the hurricane, leaving the area without a single hospital, and absent of emergency services. New Orleans post-Katrina finds itself in the precarious position of a “city in transition.” The areas most capable of rebuilding were areas at higher sea level, typically along the banks of the Mississippi or the edges of Lake Pontchartrain. These areas tend to be homes for higher income brackets, which contribute to explaining the shift in demographics for the city. An additional factor are the real estate values which have nearly doubled in 10 years, making it extremely difficult for those lower income residents to find their way back to New Orleans. Top these circumstances with new restrictions on building codes and property insurance requirements, and residents in some of the poorer, lower level areas have little opportunity to return. Case Studies | Hurricane Katrina


Hurricane Katrina

Pre-Katrina Census Statistics

484,674 33.1 tota l p o p u l at i o n

m e d i a n ag e i n y e a r s

education statistics

race breakdown



high school degree

college degree

80.4% u . s . av e r ag e

white h i s pa n i c ot h e r

67.3% 28.1% 3.1% 1.5%

24.4% u . s . av e r ag e

215,091 tota l h o u s i n g u n i ts


a f r i ca n a m e r i ca n

1,000 u n i ts

213,819 $27,133 $32,338

58% i n t h e l a b o r fo r c e (64% u . s . av e r ag e )

m e d i a n h o u s e h o l d i n c o m e ($41,994 u . s . av e r ag e )

m e d i a n fa m i ly i n c o m e ($50,046 u . s . av e r ag e )



vaca n t


fa m i l i e s i n p ov e rt y

u . s . av e r ag e



i n d i v i d ua l s i n p ov e rt y

u . s . av e r ag e



m e d i a n h o m e va lu e ($119,600 u . s . av e r ag e )



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Post-Katrina Census Statistics

328,669 36.7 tota l p o p u l at i o n

m e d i a n ag e i n y e a r s

education statistics

race breakdown



high school degree 84.6% u . s . av e r ag e

college degree 27.5% u . s . av e r ag e

154,266 tota l h o u s i n g u n i ts


1,000 u n i ts

a f r i ca n a m e r i ca n white h i s pa n i c ot h e r

63% 31.8% 4.3% .9%

163,504 $36,258 $45,538

61.5% i n t h e l a b o r fo r c e (65% u . s . av e r ag e )

m e d i a n h o u s e h o l d i n c o m e ($51,425 u . s . av e r ag e )

m e d i a n fa m i ly i n c o m e ($62,363 u . s . av e r ag e )



vaca n t



fa m i l i e s i n p ov e rt y

u . s . av e r ag e



i n d i v i d ua l s i n p ov e rt y

u . s . av e r ag e



m e d i a n h o m e va lu e ($185,400 u . s . av e r ag e )

Case Studies | Hurricane Katrina


resources Hurricane Katrina Sources Missing and Deceased Reports, August 2, 2006 — Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals “About the Port of New Orleans,” Port of New Orleans — “Washington Waterworld,” Barrett, David, May 1, 1997 — Competitive Enterprise Institute “Investigators Link Levee Failures to Design Flaws,” October 24, 2005 — The Washington Post “Three Teams of Engineers Find Weakened Soil, Navigation Canal Contributed to La. Collapses,” October 24, 2005 — The Washington Post Figures from the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau Ibid. Based on 2009 estimates, prior to the 2010 Census Hurricane Katrina Images Pg 53 — Katrina, New Orleans — photography credit, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pg 59 —

Case Studies | Hurricane Katrina


Haiti Earthquake

2.3 haiti

l é o g â n e , 16 m i l e s w e s t o f p o rt - au - p r i n c e ja n ua ry 12 , 2010

On January 12, 2010, the Republic of Haiti was struck with an earthquake of magnitude 7.0, with an epicenter near the town of Leogane, approximately 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince. Over the next 2 weeks, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater were recorded. The impact was immediate and enduring. An estimated 3 million people were affected by the event. The earthquake caused major damage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital and principal economic port. Some estimates supplied by the Haitian government stated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had been reduced to rubble or were severely damaged. The death toll was one of the highest in the recorded history of natural disasters.

7.0 230,000 1,500,000 r i c h t e r s ca l e m ag n i t u d e r e c o r d i n g

n u m b e r o f d e at h s

people rendered homeless


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e a rt h q ua k e i n t e n s i t y

Light Moderate Strong Very Strong Severe haiti

Violent Extreme


d o m i n i ca n republic

Epicenter of Earthquake dat e



21:53:10 u tc

l o cat i o n

16 miles west of Port-au-Prince

m ag n i t u d e


Estimated Age of the Hardest Hit Population (3,725,615) ages 0-9



ages 10-19



ages 20-39



ages 40-59



ages 60+


5.1% Case Studies | Haiti Earthquake


Haiti Earthquake

The Pre-Existing Circumstance The Poorest Country in the West

Economic Deficit

Haiti was the poorest country in the western hemisphere prior to the earthquake. It is a country with well documented political corruption, and a very broken history as it transformed from a hereditary dictatorship in the 60’s and 70’s, under the Duvalier family, to a democratically elected government in 1986 that came at the expense of much violence within the country. Fraudulent elections and contested results eventually resulted in a coup d’état in September, 1988.

It is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (measured by its g d p index), with 80% of its population living below the poverty line. Nearly 2/3 of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country’s widespread deforestation. More than 2/3 of the labor force in Haiti do not have formal jobs. 1/2 the population can be categorized as “food insecure.”

It was not until December of 1990 when some semblance of stability was reached after Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected President in a general election, winning more than two-thirds of the popular vote. However, Aristide’s relationship with the United States has been extremely tenuous—having twice been forced out of office with pressure from the u . s . Government, and local rebellions spurned by supposed human rights abuses. This violent history is unsettling. The effects on the population are evident.

Deforestation Less than 1.5% of Haiti’s original tree cover remains intact. The primary cause of Haiti’s environmental degradation has been caused by Haitian’s need for energy. With an electricity sector that only covered 10% of Haiti’s population in 2006, wood has become a principal energy source in Haiti, sourcing up to 70% of Haiti’s total energy consumption. An estimated 6,000 hectares of soil is lost each year due to erosion. Waste Water Treatment


o f h a i t i a n s l i v e b e l ow p ov e rt y l i n e


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Haiti’s public infrastructure never had basic sanitation services, meaning no city had a public sewage system. There were only isolated (and privatized) wastewater treatment units installed throughout the country. Less than one half of the population has access to clean drinking water.

Health Problems Common health problems include: tuberculosis, h i v /Aids, malaria, typhoid (confirmed in low-income neighborhoods), dengue fever, lymphatic filariasis, malnutrition (by age 5, 41% of all children were severely stunted), cardiovascular diseases, and gender-based violence. Thus, it is clear to see how Haiti’s continual chronic health problems are directly and indirectly a result of the inequality in its economy, government, and system policies that have plagued the country in its recent history. Most rural areas have no access to health care, making residents susceptible to otherwise treatable diseases. In 2003, for example, the World Health Organization confirmed and outbreak of typhoid fever in Haiti that led to dozens of deaths. Haiti’s health system includes the public sector, the semi-public sector, and the private sector. The public sector has continually been affected by the country’s political crises, which have led all foreign aid to be channeled through non-governmental organizations. The semi-public or mixed sector encompasses nonprofit institutions that are supported mainly by ngo’s. Staff is paid in whole or in part by the public sector, but is managed by the private sector. The private, profit-making sector is comprised of physicians, dentists, and private practice specialists who mainly work in Port-au-

Prince and in private health care facilities. Public and private establishments function completely independent of one another with very little networking. Differences in access to adequate health care are further magnified by the uneven geographical distribution of centers and hospital beds. Haiti did not have the initial public infrastructure or health services available to support its population, and the country was especially not prepared to provide additional aid needed after the earthquake. Health Statistics In terms of health care spending, Haiti ranks last in the western hemisphere. In 1993, still less than half the population (45%) had adequate access to health care services of any kind. As of 1999, total health care expenditure was estimated at 4.2% of g d p . The u . s percentage was above 15% of g d p in 2003. Only 43% of the target population receives the recommended immunizations. Only 1/4 of births are attended by a skilled health professional. Of the country’s health care facilities, 32% are operated by n g o ’s.

Case Studies | Haiti Earthquake


Haiti Earthquake

Health Care Post Disaster

Implemented Solutions

Health Concerns Post-Disaster

Examples of Alternative Thinking


Cholera kits were distributed. They contain oral-rehydration salt drinks, water, purification materials, i v sets, ringer lactate, and bleach. Dignity kits were also distributed.

Malaria Typhoid Tuberculosis h i v /Aids

Psychiatric Care Physiotherapy Care Obstetric Care (relating to childbirth) Clean Water & Sanitation Gender-Based Violence Prevention Acute Respiratory Infections Additional Problems There are several additional problems that are affecting health and human services today. The amount of debris has made getting the intial care and emergency relief services difficult to achieve. There is a general lack of education on the proper preventative procedures concerning water sanitation. Distributing aid and distinguishing between those affected by the earthquake and those who are simply impoverished has led to confusion in the process of distribution. A lack of faith in the government and political system is causing further violence-related health problems. 65

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Artistic murals were produced as tools for education on proper sanitation techniques. has attempted to advocate against perpetual gender-based violence. This can be reduced in design decisions such as proper lighting near latrines, safety precautions, and quarantined or separated populations. usaid

Further protection against h i v /Aids in the form of reproductive health kits has been distributed. A study conducted in 1992 in Cite Soleil (the main slum of the capital) by the Research, Culture, Health and Sexuality Team revealed that many young residents were sexually active by 13 years of age. The use of contraceptives is extremely rare within this age group. According to data, only 4.4% of those who were sexually active used modern methods of contraception.

The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (ihrc )

The Time Period

The i h r c was created by presidential decree on April 21, 2010, in the wake of the devastating earthquake. Planning by the i h r c is co-chaired by Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and former u . s . President Bill Clinton and is guided by a Board, which includes Haitian and nonHaitian stakeholders in reconstruction efforts. It is one of the most extensive exercises in economic development currently going on in the western hemisphere. The plan includes the following:

An implementation period of 18 months is suggested for the establishment of projects to kick-start the future of Haiti and develops a framework of incentives and supervision for private investment on which Haiti’s economic growth will be founded in the future. A period of 10 years will be used for reconstruction and recovery in Haiti, and with the implementation of the i h r c programs, the hope is that Haiti will become an economically viable and stable nation by the year 2030.

Territorial Rebuilding Reconstruction of devastated zones and urban renovation, the road network, regional development hubs and urban renovation, preparation for the hurricane season, regional planning and local development. Economic Rebuilding Re-launch of national production, restoration of economic and financial circuits, and access to electricity. Social Rebuilding Focus on health, food safety, nutrition, water, sanitation, highly labor-intensive activities. Institutional Rebuilding Development of democratic institutions, restart of public administration, and justice and security. Case Studies | Haiti Earthquake


Haiti Earthquake

Contributing Factors & Fragile Conditions Deforestation, Soil Erosion, Natural Disasters Facts & Figures Imports— u . s . 79.76%, Dominican Republic 7.24%, Canada 2.96% (2009) 48% of national requirements are imported, 47% is produced locally while food assistance fills 5% of the national needs. 63% of the land surface has a slope of over 20%, yet 58% of the area is subject to some form of agriculture. Of the country’s 30 major river basins, 25 are severely eroded. Annual soil losses are calculated at 36.6 million tons. 6% of land area is impacted by irreversible erosion (no soil left).

Agricultural Conditions in Haiti Most of the agricultural activity is in the form of small-scale subsistence farming. The country’s hilly topography limits the size of land available for farming and encourages its fragmentation into small parcels. Erosion, deforestation and frequent hurricanes have all significantly decreased the productivity. Though markets are well-stocked with imports and local crops the average prices of staple foodstuff (imported rice in particular) are rising more rapidly than usual, due partly to damage caused to the agricultural sector by Hurricane Tomas in 2010, particularly on the southern peninsula, and partly due to the effects of the steady rise in world market prices for grain since September of 2010. These rising prices will erode the ability to access food, and thus create stress on the food security in poor urban and rural households which normally depend on the market for their food needs. The price of rice is approximately 38% above the 5 year average and around 27% higher than in January 2008. Prices for crops from areas hard hit by Hurricane Tomas, mainly yams and bananas, have been moving in line with this same trend due to small harvests.


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Post-Disaster Recovery World Food Program Efforts

Nutrition Programs

In the week following, World Food Program (w f p ) delivered 1 million rations to more than 200,000 people. Six weeks after the quake, in February, wfp food reached some 4 million Haitians. While the wfp pre-positioned emergency relief supplies in more than 30 major locations around the country in smaller, more remote communities, smaller stocks of food had been laid in with the help of the local authorities. In all, food sufficient to feed more than 1 million Haitians for six weeks was pre-positioned in a variety of vulnerable locations.

These programs combat moderate acute malnutrition with supplements for children under 5, pregnant and nursing women, as well as provide food assistance to people living with h i v / t b — 541,000 people have been assisted.

School Meals Programs The w f p is reaching close to 2 million Haitians with its programs. Food supporting the National School Meals program provides a daily hot meal to Haitian school children. 1 million children will recieve these meals. Cash & Food For Work Programs

Rebuilding Continues However, even with some successes reported, recovery in the wake of the earthquake has been slow. As of September 2010, there were over one million refugees living in tents and the humanitarian situation was characterized as still being in the emergency phase. Reports indicated that instead of numbers diminishing, the number of refugees was on the rise. The government has decided to first rebuild downtown Port-au-Prince and a new government center, which was severely damaged as a result of the earthquake. However reconstruction itself had not yet begun due to ongoing elections.

More than 150 projects have been designed to support reconstruction and disaster risk reduction, increase the sustainability of agricultural rehabilitation, and stimulate the local economy. Workers are paid with money and rations of food for a family of 5 supporting 80,000 workers and 400,000 Haitians total. Case Studies | Haiti Earthquake


Haiti Earthquake

The Debate Continues Relief Criticism In October 2010, Refugees International criticized the aid agencies for being “dysfunctional” and “inexperienced.” “The people of Haiti are still living in a state of emergency, with a humanitarian response that appears paralyzed. Gang leaders or land owners are intimidating the displaced. Sexual, domestic, and gang violence in and around the camps is rising. Action is urgently needed to protect the basic human rights of people displaced by the earthquake.” In October, a cholera epidemic broke out, reportedly introduced by foreign aid workers. By the end of 2010, more than 3,333 had died at a rate of about 50 deaths a day. A few days before the first anniversary of the quake, Oxfam published a report on the status of the recovery. According to the report, relief and recovery are at a standstill due to inaction from the government and indecision on the part of the donor countries.


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The report states: “One year on, only 5 percent of the rubble has been cleared and only 15 percent of the required basic and temporary houses have been built. House building on a large scale cannot be started before the enormous amount of rubble is cleared. The government and donors must prioritize this most basic step toward helping people return home.” Robert Fox, executive director with Oxfam Canada — “The dysfunction has been aided unabated by the way the international community has organized itself, where pledges have been made and they haven’t followed through [and] where they come to the table with their own agendas and own priorities. Most donors provided funds for transitional housing but very little money for clearing rubble or repairing houses.” The country will remain in crisis for the foreseeable future.

Prominent Relief Organizations post disaster recovery o r g a n i z at i o n s i n vo lv e d i n t h e i n i t i a l s tag e s o f r e c ov e ry


United States Marine Corps

u . s . army

United States Army

u . s . air force

United States Air Force

u . s . navy

Unites States Navy


u . s . Federal Emergency Management Agency


Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres)


World Health Organization


Pan American Health Organization


Center for Disease Prevention and Control


u . s . Agency for International Development


The United Nations Children’s Fund


Catholic Relief Services

red cross

The American Red Cross


Partners In Health


Department for International Development


European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office


International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies


The United Nations


Norwegian Refugee Council


International Organization for Migration


Japanese International Co-Operation Agency


Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs


World Vision International Case Studies | Haiti Earthquake


resources Haiti Earthquake Sources “Nuncio to Haiti,” September 21 , 2010 — Agencia Fides “Report: Haiti recovery paralysed,”October 8, 2010 — Al Jazeera English “Haiti’s cholera deaths increase,” December 31, 2010 — Al Jazeera English “A year of indecision leaves Haiti’s recovery at a standstill,” January 6, 2011 — Oxfam International Haiti Progress Report 2010, January 6, 2011 — Oxfam International Haiti Earthquake Images Pg 66 — Haiti — photography credit — Jennifer Silverberg Pg 67 — Haiti Dominican Republic Border — Pg 68 — ­ Haiti dirt biscuits — photography credit —Ruth Fremson, New York Times Pg 71 — Haiti — photography credit — Jennifer Silverberg

Case Studies | Haiti Earthquake


Pakistan Floods


indus river basin, pakistan

s i n d h , p u nja b , k h y b e r , pa k h t u n k h wa , & b a l o c h i s ta n r e g i o n s j u ly 26 , 2010

Beginning in late July of 2010, heavy monsoon rains in the Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan regions of Pakistan caused rising flood water levels throughout the Indus River basin. The monsoon season continued through the month of September into October—damage was significant. Approximately onefifth of the total landmass encompassing Pakistan was under water. According to Pakistani government data, the floods affected nearly 20 million people in some way—most of them due to the destruction of property or livelihood.

1,781 20 million 43 billion n u m b e r o f d e at h s

d i r e ct ly a f f e ct e d i n d i v i d ua l s

e s t i m at e d da m ag e s


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( e s t i m at e d )

a fg h a n i s ta n

Severe Flooding


Moderate Flooding


j u ly

pa k i s ta n

au g u st

July 2010



o cto b e r

August 2010

7/9 Heavy monsoons begin

8/19 u . s pledges “full support�

7/29 Northeast Pakistan flooded

8/22 The threat of waterborne disease becomes prominent

7/31 Official death toll named at 800 August 2010 8/6 Official u n death toll listed at 1,600 with 14 million persons affected 8/8 Flooded region is officially extendedto Southwest Pakistan 8/11 u n pledges $459 million in immediate needs 8/14 Pakistani government officially reports 20 million persons affected

8/26 Pakistani govenment urges an additional evacuation of 50,000 September 2010 9/17 Post disaster aid begins falling short of pledges, flooded regions are still prominent October 2010 10/16 Monsoon rains stop, flood zones begin their recovery

Case Studies | Pakistan Floods


Pakistan Floods

Shortcomings in Relief Reasons for Shortcomings Aid projections have fallen short of the requirements for recovery. Comparisons to the Haiti Earthquake of 2010 are relevant due to the proximal dates. Haiti’s earthquake happened in January of 2010. Within 10 days, the un had delivered on a promised $920 million u . s . pledged for immediate needs type aid. In August, the u n pledged approximately $460 million u . s . in immediate assistance needs. But aid hadn’t even reached 100 million by mid-August, and still fell far short of the needs after 3 full weeks and a direct request for support to the United States, at $230 million u s d committed. The reasons are complex. First, the impact on international support from the Haiti Earthquake some 6 months earlier severely limited the ability of governments to meet their pledges. Second, Haiti exists as a small nation with very few conflicts in foreign relations. Pakistan has several conflicts with neighboring countries and regions—both military and religious conflicts. Some countries simply refused to offer aid to the u n in support. Additionally, terrorist groups reportedly in the country generated a great deal of disturbance during aid distribution. The potential for violence was reported—with one report from a u . s . official claiming that the Pakistani Taliban issued threats against any foreign aid workers. The u n responded by reviewing security measures. On top of these issues, Pakistan has a history of corruption that has limited the ability of assistance and aid to reach its full potential. After disasters due to flooding in the 1970’s, Pakistan created the Federal 75

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Flood Commission (f fc ) to oversee flood control projects for the protection of lives and property. Over the years the f fc has received about $900 million u s d , with reportedly many shortcomings in the execution of the projects and plans. The impact of these issues eventually tracked into political and international debates in the media. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (o i c ) made claims that Muslim countries, organizations and individuals had pledged nearly $1 billion u s d in support of Pakistan, and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani stated that Saudi Arabia had extended more support than the United States by the end of August. However, data from the u n failed to support these claims. Such debate has led to much confusion and unrest on the ground. The floods damaged an estimated 2,400 miles of highway and 3,500 miles of railway. Public building damages are estimated at $1 billion u s d . Additionally, the flooding covered nearly 17 million acres of fertile crop lands, killing 200,000 livestock, and washing away massive amounts of grain. The concerns over the impact of the affected region go beyond the year 2010, and imply a loss in long term food production and a potential food crisis in the near future. The amalgamation of these issues led to looting and riots, in some instances directly affecting distribution by support convoys. By November of 2010, the u n Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (o c h a ) had reported a total of $1.792 billion u s d committed in humanitarian support.

Relief Organizations The list of Relief Organizations is substantial. In August 2010, the u n SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon visited, noting that it was the worst disaster he had ever seen. Islamic Relief u n i c e f International d e c and Members u n i c e f ’s Pakistan Flood Childrens Appeal unhcr un

World Food Program

ca r e ox fa m

Helping Hands Concern Worldwide: Emergency Appeal for Pakistan Muslim Hands Muslim Aid International Medical Corps Action Aid: Appeal for Pakistan Flood Victims Relief International World Vision International Save The Children The Citizens Foundation

Ramadan 2010 Flood Appeal Ramadan 2010 School Flood Repair International Rescue Committee Christian Aid Mercy Corps Global Living: Pakistan Flood Disaster Relief Doctors Without Borders Canadian Red Cross Red Cross Germany Red Cross Holland Islamic Relief Switzerland British Red Cross Islamic Relief u s a Shelter Box u s a ox fa m America Action Aid u s a u m Healthcare Trust Islamic Relief Canada Action Aid Australia f tc f f tc f

Case Studies | Pakistan Floods


Pakistan Floods

Pakistan Health Centers

Pre-Disaster Crisis

Pre & Post Disaster Hubs & Clusters

From Bad to Worse

The floods caused a massive shift in the ability to provide healthcare services to the people of Pakistan. In the areas of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, most of the pre-disaster hospitals and health centers were destroyed or became unusable.

In many ways, Pakistan could be a country considered bordering on crisis, even prior to the flooding of 2010. Many health statistics would warrant concern . The impact of the floods has only amplified conditions.

Basic services had to shift from inside these unusable facilities to mobile teams and clinics that travelled to refugee camps. Still, with the lack of financial support from the global community, services have fallen well short of expected needs, and could result in a massive health crisis in the very near future. An example of this potential crisis can be seen in the standards of maternal health care. There are approximately 500,000 pregnant women in the affected population in Pakistan. Pakistan’s rate of maternal death is 320 deaths per 100,000 births—in a non–emergency state. ca r e health teams have recently been vaccinating pregnant women in Pakistan against tetanus. ca r e has also been distributing water purification tablets to provide clean water to pregnant women and others. In disaster scenarios, with massive amounts of displacement causing a higher risk of sexual violence and exploitation, the need for services for women tends to increase. With limited or no access to health facilities, pregnant women are at an even greater risk of complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth, not to mention birth defects. 77

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Pre-Disaster Facts Probability of death under the age of 5 per 1000 persons is 72. In low-income countries the median level of child mortality is 109, in high income countries it is 5. Life expectancy is 63. In low income countries median live expectancy is 57, in high income countries it is 80. Population using improved sanitation 45%. In low income countries the percentage of improved sanitation is 42, in high income countries it is 100. Number of physicians per 10,000 is 8 (2000-2009). In low income countries the median percentage of physicians is 4, in high income countries it is 28. Number of Midwives and nurses per 10,000 is 4. In low income countries the median number of midwives and nurses is 10, in high income countries it is 81. 31.3% of children under 5 are underweight.

resources Pakistan Flood Sources “Pakistan Floods: The Deluge of Disaster,” September 15, 2010 — Singapore Red Cross “Millions of Pakistan Children at Risk of Flood Diseases,” August 16, 2010 — b b s News Online “As Pakistan Drowns, It’s Leaders Fight,” by Kamal Hyder, September 01, 2010 ­— Al Jazeera Blogs, “u n Chief: Pakistan needs more aid.” August 15, 2010 — Al Jazeera Reported by u n Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, August 17, 2010 “Pakistan Floods: Taliban vows to kidnap foreign aid workers,” by Rob Crilly, August 26, 2010 — London: The Daily Telegraph “Heavily Funded f fc Fails to Deliver,” by Ahmadani, A., August 19, 2010 — The Nation “u n Data Refutes Claim That Muslim Nations Have Pledged Nearly $1 Billion For Pakistan Crisis,” by Goodenough, P., August 30, 2010 “Preliminary Damage Estimates for Pakistani Flood Events, 2010,” August 2010 — Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research. “Floods May Have Lasting Effect on Pakistani Life,” by Ellick, Adam B., August 16, 2010 — The New York Times “Homeless and Hungry Attack Aid Convoys,” August 14, 2010 — Dawn News “Pakistan – Flood – July 2010 Table b : Total Humanitarian Assistance per Donor,” November 19, 2010 — u n o c h a Post Nargis Joint Assessment Report, July 2008 — a s e a n Earthquake 8/10, Learning from Pakistan’s Experience, October 2007 — n d m a;; http:// World Health Organization (w h o ) Pakistan Flood Images Pg 76 — Woman among the wreckage, Nowshera, Pakistan — photography credit — Daniel Berehulak, Getty Images Pg 78 — Pakistani rescuers help survivors in a flooded area of Khangarh — photography credit — Banaras Khan, Getty Images Pg 79 — Villagers fight for bags of flour, Muzaffargarh, Pakistan — photography credit — Daniel Berehulak, Getty Images

Case Studies | Pakistan Floods



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Conclusions Disasters are complex organisms. The disruption caused by an epic natural disturbance is far more difficult to define than any statistical analysis can provide­— it is more than simply numbers. Disasters are more than the tragic displacement of people. Disasters are more than the billion dollar aid industry, and disasters are more than any one organization can rectify. Our research this semester helped us grow to understand that every event is unique. The circumstances on the ground are layered with a multiplicity of issues typically incapable of being comprehended until some time has passed. There are political considerations, economic considerations, social considerations, climactic and environmental considerations—even cultural Conclusions



considerations—all of which create a very chaotic situation. The initial moments after disaster strikes are intense—the upheaval is often too great to allow for focus and clarity. However, after a few weeks pass, and stock can be taken in what the true depths of the situation actually are, it is often difficult to understand why so many relief efforts are rife with disorder and combustibility. There are several credible reasons. First, disaster relief is a reactive industry. There are unique aspects to every disaster that are very difficult to account for in response. Little time is spent on understanding these complexities and trying to design ways to account for them. Thus, response is typically tailored to a very basic understanding of “needs”—people are displaced, they need food and medicine. Organizations ship food and medicine to the affected area and these items need to be distributed. But complexity arrives in a variety of ways. What happens when conditions prior to the disaster are difficult, and populations suffer from malnourishment and illness? What happens when the disaster affects the chain of distribution with rubble and debris, or issues with the local government arise that make the provision of aid more difficult? What happens when there are re83

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ligious and cultural differences between the affected population and the organizations that are providing aid? Most organizations do not have systems in place to account for such circumstances, and this often results in difficulties in how the aid is received and distributed. Secondly, there is a massive gap in communication between aid agencies. This lack of coordination often results in confusion on the ground. Finding locations for setting up local staff, finding land to set up distribution centers, and finding ways to effectively and efficiently provide aid often suffer. The tendency seems to be more aligned with provisions in excess in order to cover gaps in relief disbursement, rather than providing efficient assistance that works. Millions of dollars are lost in the process in a single event. Multiply the number of events—and waste expenditures reach billions of dollars. There are many other issues to discuss, but these two stood out to us in our research. We think they affect design greatly. As we begin this design effort, one thing is clear—our design needs to be flexible to allow for different capacities and different circumstances. A few key points have risen to the forefront.

We want to design transitional shelter that can deal with different scenarios—earthquakes, hurricanes, floods—they all present a different set of concerns for how the shelter is designed. Our framework should be capable of accommodating them all. We want a system that can be implemented in a variety of ways—most notably, we would like to have a solution that can adapt to cultural influences. So our design should accept a variety of skins…meaning it should be able to change shape or change its look with minor shifts in how materials are applied. Locally sourced materials should be usable—so the development of a framework to accept these things is necessary. We want a system that is enduring. It is important that even though this is considered a temporary transitional shelter, used for the 3 to 5 years during rebuilding, it should not be rendered as waste when permanent housing becomes available. In fact, we might consider the possibility of this becoming permanent housing, with some modifications to its make-up. This flexibility is an environmental consideration as much as anything else—so materials need to be reusable and recyclable. We want a design that becomes part of the solution. Considerations go beyond the sim-

plicity of providing a roof for one to sleep under. In disasters, shelter can provide dignity, privacy, security, and pride. These considerations are part of the human condition. A good solution might also provide systems for work—job creation provides monetary resource, which also is essential to regaining a foothold in a time of distress. Understanding that a shelter can have these added utilizations can benefit the circumstance. We want a solution that considers the living condition. The notions of security and dignity are important. Equally important are solutions that provide proper health considerations. Proper sanitation and clean living conditions save lives. Good design can help alleviate hazardous circumstances that escalate quickly in affected populations. No solution is capable of handling every condition and every need—but design can be flexible enough to accept a variety of issues, and adaptable enough to provide opportunity where it might not always exist. We recognize that disaster relief is a reactive industry. We hope our solution to the issue of shelter is pro-active, with considerations capable of adaptation. More to come… dav i d l o p e z , m a r c h 2011




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Thank You This book is a collection of random and significant portions of our class dialogue. These pages represent what we are talking about as we begin to engage the design of the project. It represents our research. The intensity of this ever-escalating problem warrants greater understanding, not simply in the architecture of a shelter itself, but in all aspects of the lives of those affected. What we have discovered so far is that a shelter is not simply a shelter but something of a greater significance. It is something informative, something protective, something capable of providing dignity and hope. What I initially had anticipated for this project no longer makes sense. The project has escalated due to these investigations. I have the following students to thank for it. The Design Team


“No group or segment of society should be exempt from the security or assurance that is often provided for the wealthy.” —


mi ca e n v 390 | Disaster Relief Research 1.0

a n to i n e h e at h

students f r o m o p p o s i t e pag e

zoe axelrod

Environmental Design, Culture and Politics, Junior

moulee basumallik

Environmental Design, Junior

leslie giron

Environmental Design, Junior

antoine heath

Environmental Design, Senior

seung min hwang

Environmental Design, Senior

lisa kaliczak

Environmental Design, Senior

rachel kang

Environmental Design, Junior

kelly marburger

Interdisciplinary Sculpture, Graphic Design, Senior

john mcglew

Environmental Design, Sophomore

nick richardson

Environmental Design, Junior

renee hhen

Exchange Student, Emily Carr Institute, Junior

kallie sternburgh

Environmental & Graphic Design, Culture and Politics, Senior

tessa tripodi

Environmental Design, Culture and Politics, Junior

kurt waters

Environmental Design, Senior

tim hoover

Graphic Design, First-Year Graduate

jessica karle

Graphic Design, First-Year Graduate The Design Team


p u b l i cat i o n d e s i g n

Timothy Hoover, Jessica Karle, David Lopez Maryland Institute College of Art ( m i ca ) e n v 390 Design Build Studio


Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk Sentinel Tungsten Whitney

Š 2011 ,

m i ca e n v 390 , Design Build Studio This publication is printed on recycled content

MICA ENV Design|Build Shelter Project: Research 1.0