Guidelines for Post Disaster Housing

 “FEMA believes that the best type of emergency shelter housing is something that can immediately provide life saving needs then eventually transition into a permanent structure.”

The Post Disaster Housing list of requirements by FEMA:

  1. Durability
  2. Indoor air quality
  3. Timeliness
  4. Storability
  5. Accessibility
  6. Range of Use
  7. Units suitable for smaller footprints
  8. Stack-ability
  9. Enhanced mobility

There are many important factors involved directly after a disaster.“Safe Sanitary Housing”

Current problems with the Rebuilding of homes in the wake of disaster.

  1. The response to a post disaster shelter home solution is slow. And quickness is essential in these situations.
  2. Action plans are inadequate and usually affect a very small population.
  3. The final product is a poor production of a shelter home.
  4. The follow-through
  5. Alternatives like tents are poor substitutes for the protection of a permanent house


The success of a shelter response tends to be measured by the number of units provided, and there is pressure to help as many people as possible as quickly as possible.HPN Humanitarian Practice Network

“Agencies are prompted to provide larger quantities of smaller,

cheaper, temporary houses, at the expense of quality and durability.” HPN Humanitarian Practice Network


Points of Interest:

  1. Refugees received vouchers for hotels or RVs, costing the government an average of $65,000 each.
  2.  Takes 45-60 days for the FEMA trucks to show up
  3. People are crammed onto cots, on the floor of a sport arena and given  plastic bags for their belongings.
  4. 18mths is the typical time frame for recovery in a post disaster zone.
  5. Average deployment time of semi permanent structures is 6 mths.
  6. Some Shelter Homes cost as much as $229,000 US

Competitive Advantage
• Keeps families together

  • Real protection from the elements, Earthquake resistant & various anchoring methods for wind resistance.
  • Expandable to meet the privacy needs of a family
  • No power tools or equipment needed


Common NGO Difficulties:

Inadequate understanding of issues related to social processes and their relationship to humanitarian interventions

  1. Low levels of preparedness by agencies.
  2. Inadequate selection and training of staff.
  3. Delays in the implementing a response.
  4. Slow disbursement of project funds to field operations.
  5. Inadequate understanding of land title and tenure issues.
  6. Pressure to allocate funding resources in a highly visible manner to meet political demands of donors and host governments.
  7. The “lumpiness‟ of housing: where some members of affected populations receive a substantially large improvement to their assets, while others in the same communities may not.
  8. Maintaining transparency throughout the distribution process can alleviate conflicts with beneficiaries or local authorities. Adequate documentation of the distribution process helps ensure transparency, and assists in the evaluation to measure the effectiveness of the distribution.
  9. Who are the main actors in the response? What is the role of the local municipality in the response? Are distribution networks working effectively and rapidly?