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Lesson from experience of Disaster Shelter or Reconstruction of Dwellings

8 November 2010
What has been the most important lesson you have learned from your own experience of Disaster Shelter or Reconstruction of Dwellings ?

After a conference about “Shelter after disaster”, Ian Davis asked 17 experimented friends to present their opinion in less than 150 words.
This is from John Norton / DWF President

The issue can be seen in the workshop title: ‘Shelter after Disaster’.

We should address safer shelter before the disaster and experience shows that it can be done. We need to do much more where we know what the risks are. We have to promote action to address risks so that the hazard does not become a disaster. Disasters create a short term environment encouraging action about risk reduction, but even then conflicting emergency priorities dampen enthusiasm for longer term safety and the investment required.

Our DW experience is that once shown how safety can be integrated into existing and new non engineered buildings families are more than ready to invest their time, energy and money in making their home safer and better for their future. We have to back and encourage this.

This is not an issue of building regulations, but of awareness raising on the potential for safety and much lower costs than recovery.