This study focuses on the sheltering response in the Middle East, specifically through reviewing two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, involving Zaatari and Azraq. Zaatari camp involved the rapid deployment of tents and shelters over a very short period of time and Azraq was purpose built and pre-planned over a longer period. At present, both camps collectively host more than 133,000 occupants. Field visits were taken to both camps and the main issues and problems in the sheltering response were highlighted through focus group discussions with camp occupants and inspection of shelter habitats. This provided both subjective and objective research data sources. While every case has its own significance and deployment to meet humanitarian needs, there are some common requirements irrespective of geographical region. The results suggest that there is a gap in the suitability of the required habitat needs and what has been provided. It is recommended that the global international response and support could be improved in relation to the habitat form, construction type, layout, function and critically the cultural aspects. Services, health and hygiene are key elements to the shelter habitat provision. The study also identified the amendments to shelters undertaken by the beneficiaries providing insight into their key main requirements. The outcomes from this study could provide an important learning opportunity to develop improved habitat response for future shelters.
Power distribution systems are essential and crucial infrastructures for the development and maintenance of a sustainable society. These systems are extremely vulnerable to various types of natural and man-made disasters. The assessment of resilience focuses on preparedness and mitigation actions under pre-disaster conditions. It also concentrates on response and recovery actions under post-disaster situations. The aim of this study is to present a methodology to assess the resilience of electric power distribution poles against wind-related events. The proposed methodology can improve the accuracy and rapidity of the evaluation of the conditions and the assessment of the resilience of poles. The methodology provides a metric for the evaluation of the resilience of poles under pre-disaster and post-disaster conditions. The metric was developed using mathematical expressions for physical forces that involve various variables, such as physical dimensions of the pole, the inclination of the pole, and wind speed. A three-dimensional imaging technology (photogrammetry) was used to determine the inclination of poles. Based on expert opinion, the proposed metric was used to define zones to visualize resilience. Visual representation of resilience is helpful for decision makers to prioritize their resources before and after experiencing a wind-related disaster. Multiple electric poles in the City of Beaumont, TX were used in a case study to evaluate the proposed methodology.
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, the major challenge most cities and societies face, regardless of their diverse level of prosperity, is to provide temporary housing (TH) for the displaced population (DP). However, the features of TH, which have been applied in previous recovery programs, greatly varied from case to case. This situation demonstrates that providing temporary accommodation for DP in a short period time and usually in great numbers is complicated in terms of satisfying all the beneficiaries’ needs, regardless of the societies’ welfare levels. Furthermore, when previously used strategies are applied to different areas, the chosen strategies are most likely destined to fail, unless the strategies are context and culturally based. Therefore, as the population of disaster-prone cities are increasing, decision-makers need a platform to help to determine all the factors, which caused the outcomes of the prior programs. To this end, this paper aims to assess the problems, requirements, limitations, potential responses, chosen strategies, and their outcomes, in order to determine the main elements that have influenced the TH process. In this regard, and in order to determine a customizable strategy, this study analyses the TH programs of five different cases as: Marmara earthquake, 1999; Bam earthquake, 2003; Aceh earthquake and tsunami, 2004; Hurricane Katrina, 2005; and, L’Aquila earthquake, 2009. The research results demonstrate that the main vertexes of TH are: (1) local characteristics, including local potential and affected population features, (2) TH properties, which needs to be considered in four phases: planning, provision/construction, operation, and second life, and (3) natural hazards impacts, which embraces intensity and type. Accordingly, this study offers decision-makers the opportunity to discover the main vertexes, their subsets, interactions, and the relation between strategies and outcomes based on the local conditions of each case. Consequently, authorities may acquire the capability to design a customizable method in the face of complicated post-disaster housing in the wake of future natural disasters.
Earthquake is considered as one of the most catastrophic disasters in Iran, in terms of both short-term and long-term hazards. Due to the particular financial and time constraints in Iran, quickly constructed post-earthquake houses (PEHs) do not fulfill the minimum requirements to be considered as comfortable dwellings for people. Consequently, people often transform PEHs after they start to reside. However, lack of understanding about process, motivation, and results of housing transformation leads to construction of some houses not suitable for future transformations, hence resulting in eventually demolished or abandoned PEHs. This study investigated housing transformations in a natural bed of post-earthquake Lar. This paper reports results of the conducted survey for comparing normal condition housing transformation with post-earthquake housing transformation in order to reveal the factors that affect post-earthquake housing transformation in Iran. The findings proposed the use of a combination of ‘Temporary’ and ‘Permanent’ housing reconstruction models in Iran to provide victims with basic but permanent post-disaster dwellings. It is also suggested that needs for future transformation should be predicted and addressed during early stages of design and development. This study contributes to both research and practice regarding post-earthquake housing reconstruction in Iran by proposing new design approaches and guidelines.