10 Types of Shelters for Natural Disasters

Aug 24th, 2010

Shipping Container Homes

When a natural disaster strikes, there’s nothing people want more than the bare necessities and a roof over their heads. Disaster relief groups go to great lengths to ensure that victims have shelter from the storm and a place to dwell during the aftermath, but when facilities become full the help has to get creative. Thankfully, there are hundreds of affordable shelters on the market and self-build homes that provide shelter and hope in these trying times. Here are 10 types of shelters for natural disasters:

  • Shipping Container Houses
    In recent years, recycled shipping containers have been used as emergency housing for natural disaster victims. Shipping containers have a sturdy structure and impenetrable exterior that makes them an ideal shelter for earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Not only are they structurally-sound and plentiful, but shipping containers make beautiful, modular homes.
  • Relief Tents

    Disaster relief tents are convenient, portable and easy-to-install structures that use strong frames and high-quality fabrics that are flame retardant, water resistant and give victims privacy. Tents can typically house an entire family or a group of individuals with enough space to create separate rooms. Depending on the construction and materials used, some disaster tents are capable of withstanding severe weather and certain natural disasters.
  • Shelter Canopies
    Shelter canopies aren’t just four poles with an overhead roof, they can also come with windows, doors and protective lining that shields victims from water, bugs and other outside elements. Canopies are extremely portable and rapidly deployed in times of need. Although canopies are mostly temporary houses, they can be customized with generators, lights, beds, tables and other amenities to make it feel like home.
  • Foldable Shelters
    Like the bellows of an accordion, foldable shelters expand into homes of various shapes and sizes and easily fold back into place to be transported or stowed away. Foldable shelters are typically made out of polypropylene, provide relief for four or more people and are relatively inexpensive to buy. The unique folding design of this shelter makes it one of the most portable and immediate shelters for natural disaster victims today.
  • Plastic Sheeting Homes
    Many temporary houses for natural disaster victims are made from high-quality plastic sheeting, which is portable, long-lasting, and shields against weather and other elements. Plastic sheeting can be used alone to create single-family homes, community shelters, latrines or to reinforce current housing.
  • Sandbag Shelters
    Sandbag shelters are both sturdy and artistic structures that can resist hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. Sandbag shelters are extremely versatile in their shape, construction and amenities. Mirroring the adobe-style homes, sandbag shelters can be used as temporary shelters or transformed into self-sustaining houses.
  • Hexayurt Shelters
    For less than $100 dollars to build, hexayurt homes provide an inexpensive, eco-friendly and sustainable form of shelter for natural disaster victims. This geometric shaped shelter can be made with sheets of plywood, OSB, coroplast, hexacomb cardboard and other construction materials that are screwed together, painted and customized to your liking. They are roomy enough for windows, doors, stove fittings and room partitions and have the ability to withstand various climates and weather conditions for years.
  • Bamboo Houses
    Bamboo houses have become a widely-recognized form of shelter for natural disaster victims and those who are prone to such catastrophes. Bamboo is incredibly flexible and strong, with twice the compression strength of concrete and half the tensile strength of steel. If properly constructed and treated, bamboo houses have the power to withstand deadly earthquakes, typhoons and other natural disasters.
  • InterShelter
    InterShelters are dome-shaped homes, made out of a fiberglass-composite mixture and a fireproof structure. They can house an entire family and are easily broken down, rebuilt and relocated for various shelter needs. Each dome-home weighs 70 pounds, but they can withstand a Category 4 hurricane, an 8.5-magnitude earthquake and other extreme weather or natural disasters.
  • Concrete Shelters
    In an effort to create permanent housing during natural disaster crises, the Concrete Canvas created a building-in-a-bag that only needs water and air to inflate. This portable shelter is made of cement-impregnated cloth expands and hardens in one day and is completely waterproof, fireproof and chemically resistant. Doors and windows can be cut for ventilation, and any unset cloth can be tailored to meet the occupants’ needs.
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