In many major disasters, evacuation of urban areas may be required ---and evacuees/ survivors will therefore need emergency shelters as a result of forced evacuation. Such shelters need to be relatively inexpensive, and quickly established in safe areas along the routes of major evacuation(s). Large urban populations typically “clog” evacuation routes, so temporary shelters are needed along the way. Each shelter stop must be equipped with water, food, medical supplies, sanitary facilities, and tankers with fuel to aid any continued evacuation. During the recovery period, evacuees/ survivors may need the same type of shelter(s) during the return trip ---and for temporary shelter located near any area where recovery or restoration work is occurring.
The evacuation of Houston, prior to Hurricane Rita, provided evidence
of the chaos that occurs when such advance evacuation preparation
is lacking. FEMA, the Red Cross, and other charities, now lack the
means to efficiently and immediately shelter very large numbers of
persons evacuating from disaster areas.
From NPI’s experience, development of immediate shelter and assistance facilities, properly spaced and located, are critical to order and safety during a mass evacuation. Once the evacuation efforts are concluded, the camping equipment is easily cleaned and stored for use after the next disaster(s). Using this approach, NPI has prepared a list of items useful for many emergency shelters. In the examples that follow, we have used Cabela’s Camping catalog because many people are familiar with this major catalog. Obviously, any other source of camping equipment may be used. NPI’s list of basic emergency shelter equipment is given below:
NPI’s Items Suggested from Cabela’s 2005 Camping Catalog
1) Wall Tent No. RS-51-4997 Code 017 w/ floor, tent fly, & stove jack (p. 20)
2) Modular Wall Tent System No. RS-51-5852 (p. 20)
3) Sheepherder’s Stove No. RS-51-6014 w/ pipe No. 3931 (p.
4) Ecofan No. RS-51-5880 (p. 21)
5) Base Camp Microfilter No. RS-51-3801 w/ No. 6799 Cartridge (p.
(Will need to add water storage drum)
6) Camp Stove/ Oven No. RS-51-6878 (p. 62)
7) Propane Lantern No. RS-51-6919 w/ No. 0914 Tree (p. 50)
8) Medical Kit No. RS-51-0978 (p. 53)
9) Complete Toilet Kit No. RS-51-4869-805 (p. 56)
10) 12-Volt Freezer No. RS-51-5473 (p. 57)
(Will need to add 12-Volt Photovoltaic Panel for power)
11) Camper’s Kitchen No. RS-51-5450 (p. 59)
12) Sport Table No. RS-51-6795 (p. 58)
13) Quad Arm Chair No. RS-51-5836 (8 each) (p. 60)
14) Shower Shelter w/ Shower No. RS-51-6873 (p. 55)
15) Shadehouse No. RS-51-6861 Code 212 (p. 15)
16) Camping Closet No. RS-51-6944 (2 each) (p. 25)
17) Army Cot Set No. RS-51-6534 (6 each) (p. 33)
18) Mosquito Bar No. RS-51-5934 Code 002 (3 each) (p. 33)
19) Sport CampMate No. RS-51-6105 (p. 63)
20) Skillet No. RS-51-0759 (p. 65)
21) Roaster/ Griddle No. RS-51-6770 (p. 65)
22) Iron Pot No. RS-51-2969 Code 051 w/ No. 5950 Tripod (p. 65)
23) Steel Coffee Pot No. RS-51-0164 Code 014 (p. 64)
24) Fire Ring/ Grill No. RS-51-6398 (p. 67)
25) Knife Set No. RS-51-6641 (p. 71)
26) Cook Set No. RS-51-6754 (p. 17)
NPI does not have the funds available to purchase large quantities of such camping equipment for future mass evacuation support. A majority of the donations for disaster recovery efforts have gone to large charities such as the Red Cross. NPI plans to work with FEMA, and the Red Cross, to prepare the purchase and rapid delivery of subject camping equipment for use during the next major disaster evacuation. As noted above, shelter facilities must also provide adequate water, food, medical supplies, sanitary facilities, and fuel to support a major evacuation.
When creating emergency campsites, tents should be established in groups of no more than 10 (ten), with at least 20 feet of open space between tent groups. These open areas are needed for children to play, for clothes to be dried on lines, and for group activities. Tents and associated facilities should generally be located on high ground to avoid any possibility of flooding. Security needs to be provided, at each facility, to help maintain an orderly evacuation. If campsites are used long-term, in Third World or remote areas, add rainwater harvesting, solar water stills (for potable water), solar refrigerators and solar ovens, simple composting toilets, and other features to improve health and safety. These types of systems are discussed under the “Solar Technologies” and Potable Water” topics on NPI’s website (www.needfulprovision.org).