Why Choose Modular Disaster Relief Shelter Buildings
When a disaster strikes, government agencies and humanitarian organizations must act quickly to reduce the aftereffects and speed up the recovery process. Using modular buildings is one of the most cost-effective solutions to provide safety, security, and order in an uncertain situation.
In this blog, we’ll look into emergency management, natural disasters that use modular structures in the aftermath, and the benefits of using modular in the recovery process.
What is Disaster Relief
Disaster relief, also known as emergency management, is the process of responding to a disaster and assisting impacted communities. Limiting the impact of a disaster is typically the responsibility of humanitarian organizations and government authorities.
However, depending on the scale and breadth of the disaster, this can be challenging.
Post-incident dangers must be handled and minimized continuously, and reconstruction should be done as swiftly and efficiently as possible. This necessitates collaboration at all levels between government and non-government actors, which can be extremely difficult. However, well-executed disaster relief and emergency management are crucial to the recovery and rehabilitation for victims.
Four Phases of Disaster Relief
There are four distinct stages of disaster relief: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. You can learn more about each of these phases below:
- Mitigation. This can take two forms. First, mitigation can include preventing situations from developing into large-scale disasters in the first place. Second, it can include reducing the effects of disasters when they do occur.
- Preparedness. This refers to creating a plan of action before disaster strikes, including establishing a chain of command and practicing coordination across agencies. You should also implement common terminology and establish roles within incident command.
- Response. This is the deployment of emergency services within the affected area, including firefighters, police, ambulance crews, and specialty rescue teams.
- Recovery. This involves restoring the impacted area to its pre-disaster state. Recovery focuses on employment, rebuilding destroyed property, and repairing key infrastructure.
Federal Emergency Response System
The Federal Emergency Response System was designed to help the Canadian Government to respond to all national emergencies and threats, like natural disasters, national security and cyber incidents in an appropriate manner. This system encompasses established protocols for directly overseeing response and recovery operations while also providing assistance to provincial and territorial emergency management entities.
Common Disasters Requiring Emergency Management
Understanding what natural disasters are and where they typically occur is an important aspect of emergency management. This information also plays a key role when selecting the correct modular disaster relief buildings for the situation. We’ll take a closer look at the most common natural disasters in the following sections.
Earthquakes are caused by a shifting of the Earth’s tectonic plates that produces a sudden shaking that can last from seconds to minutes. They range in intensity and magnitude and can happen without warning at any time of year. While earthquakes may occur anywhere, the West Coast is particularly vulnerable to them.
Earthquakes can render buildings structurally unsound, which displaces whole communities. Having modular buildings can help humanitarian efforts start and help people get their lives back on track.Having a modular building that’s structurally sound is vital in the aftermath of an earthquake. Using a skidded or container office gives you a secure space to not only store supplies but since both are close to the ground, there’s less of a chance of them being displaced by aftershocks, which is valuable for an earthquake victim’s psyche.
Floods take place when land that is typically dry experiences a damaging overflow of water. They’re typically caused by tropical storms (like hurricanes), flash floods, and failed dams or levees. While coastal areas are particularly prone to flooding, it can happen virtually anywhere and often causes extreme damage.
In the event of a flood, modular buildings can be used as emergency shelters or a central headquarters for emergency services. At BOXX, we also offer portable washroom facilities, which can be used for flood victims to help them regain normalcy or for emergency workers.
Though typically not thought of as such, heat waves are one of the most prevalent natural disasters. Heat waves can occur anywhere in Canada, however, they mostly occur in southern regions of the country. Extreme heat is most common in the summer, between June and September.
To help combat heat, officials will open up cooling centres for anyone to stop by and escape the heat. Mobile offices or storage containers can be turned into cooling centres to help the vulnerable section of the population.
A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds that have reached a constant speed of 79 miles per hour or more. They are typically caused by preexisting weather disturbances, warming oceans, moisture, and light winds.
Hurricanes can form in North Atlanic and Northeast Pacific Oceans.
Coastal areas are often impacted the most by the damaging winds, rains, and storm surges when the storm brushes land or makes landfall.
Pandemics are infectious disease epidemics that spread rapidly across multiple countries, continents, or worldwide. Pandemics affect large segments of the population and often have devastating social and economic consequences. A few of the most well-known pandemics include the Black Death, HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19.
In a pandemic, modular buildings can be used as temporary offices or workspaces for essential services, meeting areas for families at hospitals or nursing homes, or they can be used as storage areas for additional supplies like masks or medication.
Tornados are outgrowths of strong thunderstorms that take the form of rotating, funnel-shaped clouds. They typically bring sustained winds of 30 miles per hour or more and can also produce lightning and flash floods. In the United States, tornadoes are usually 500 feet in diameter and may travel up to five miles on the ground.
These can be made out of water or in some cases, fire. A fire tornado was spotted in British Columbia in August due to the wildfires there.
Typically caused by lightning or accidents, wildfires are particularly destructive in forests, rural areas, and other wooded environments. They can spread quickly and often become difficult to control as they grow in size and intensity.
While wildfires are more common in Canada’s western provinces, this summer Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario, all eastern provinces, have been hit with out-of-control wildfires.
That doesn’t mean the Western provinces haven’t been hit. In August, more than 20,000 people were evacuated from Yellowknife while fire crews worked to keep it from reaching the city.
This summer has been the country’s worst fire season ever with fires charring millions of hectares and polluting the air not only in Canada but in the United States.
Reasons to Choose Modular Disaster Relief Buildings
There are many reasons to choose modular structures for disaster relief construction. We’ll review each of these below to help you feel confident about leasing or purchasing a modular building when catastrophe strikes.
Because their overall framework is made from wood or steel and concrete, you can count on modular buildings to be durable and structurally sound. Wood offers superior insulation, is extremely strong, and is completely biodegradable. On the other hand, steel and concrete are fire-resistant, require few raw materials, and are more consistent than wood.
Natural and manmade disasters create an immediate and urgent need for short-term shelter. Unlike traditional construction, modular buildings can be deployed quickly, especially if you lease a used structure that’s already sitting on a dealer’s lot. Our prefabricated trailer building and skidded units can be located to the disaster site within days or even hours. Ultimately, our modular buildings can provide the space you need up to 50% faster than traditional construction, making it the obvious choice for disaster relief.
In most cases, communities are strapped for cash and looking to save as much money as possible in the wake of a disaster. When you lease a used modular building, there’s no large upfront expense or need to borrow money, which is ideal for both your organization and taxpayers. Plus, flexible lease terms ensure you only pay for the building for the time you're using it.
While natural and manmade disasters destroy the environment, modular structures embody the green lifecycle. Because they’re designed to be unbuilt and reused (rather than demolished), modular spaces cut down on material waste and protect the environment. They also minimize disruption to adjacent green spaces and reduce toxicity because building materials aren’t exposed to the elements.
Withstand Inclement Weather
The extreme weather produced by natural disasters can damage or destroy materials and equipment at traditional construction sites. However, this is a non-issue with modular buildings because 95% of the work is done off-site in a controlled factory environment.
Once they’re complete, modular buildings can be transported almost anywhere, including remote locations. That means there’s no need to make rushed decisions about placement, which is ideal for ever-evolving emergencies. You get relief in the field where you need it most on a faster timeline and with a lower price tag.
Here are just a few examples of how modular buildings can be used for disaster relief construction and emergency management:
- Cafeterias and dining halls
- Disaster recovery buildings
- Emergency operations management centers
- Emergency shelters and temporary victim housing
- High-security spaces for government agencies
- Homeless shelters
- Intensive care units
- Isolation zones
- Medical facilities
- Relief workforce housing
- Restrooms and shower trailers
- Supply warehousing
- Testing facilities
- Triage units for patient screening
Working with BOXX
At BOXX one who will work with you through the whole process and find the right solution for your business.
An area that sets us apart is our construction process. We build our structures in a controlled environment then each section is assembled at a building site. This means that weather delays aren’t an issue so your build timeline won’t suffer.
Being environmentally friendly is important to us so we use sustainable building practices and materials whenever we can in our builds. This allows us to minimize waste throughout the build to create 40% less construction waste.
Another benefit of a BOXX modular building is you have options to create a structure that is customized for your emergency plan.
Having a modular building that’s reliable and safe makes the recovery from a disaster easier and helps get life back to normal quicker for everyone who’s affected.
Need a modular disaster relief building as part of your emergency relief plan?
BOXX Modular has a large selection of modular structures to meet any need. Request a free quote so you’re covered when disaster strikes.
This blog was updated from the original September 11, 2023.
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