Vol. 26 Issue 1 2023

Rohini Iyengar

Assistant Professor, BMS College of Architecture


Preethi E Bahuleya

Student, BMS College of Architecture


Prerna Rajanala

Student, BMS College of Architecture


Anushree Bhagat

Associate Professor, BMS College of Architecture


Ajay Kumar

Assistant Professor, NIT Patna


Lekha Hegde

Professor, BMS College of Architecture


Disasters are adverse events that arise due to geological or climatic changes, or actions of human beings. Disasters are known to cause serious impacts on the livelihoods of people, bringing about losses and damage to people and property in its wake. With the loss of lives, belongings and safety, victims are displaced and their sense of dignity and personal space are lost.


Countries from all around the world recognize these hazards and vulnerabilities. Effective steps are taken for prevention, mitigation, response and recovery – all essential processes in disaster management.


While developed countries have systems and up-to-date equipment that help prepare them for such events, developing countries and under-developed countries lack the preparedness and mitigation efforts to avoid or minimize the damages inflicted.


Unfortunately, India faces multiple natural disasters that caused havoc to life and property. With the lack of the required infrastructure and a proper disaster management plan, India witnesses more casualties and losses compared to other developing countries. As such, a disaster relief shelter can contribute to reducing the loss of lives, properties and damages.


When disaster strikes, the need for shelter is of utmost importance. Disaster relief shelters provide the necessary support to victims of traumatic disasters while also acting as an immediate reaction to the calamity. They provide refuge temporarily until the situation is brought back under control or until they can be relocated to a safer, more permanent location.


In addition to providing the basic requirements of drinking water, food, sanitary facilities and other commodities to victims of calamities, disaster relief shelters must keep in mind the emotional and mental state of the affected communities/persons. Disaster relief shelters are the first step of a community towards resilience and self-sustenance on a long term basis.


The essay sets out to highlight the disaster management plans in India and other countries, the criteria that shelters need to cover, and the design proposal that responds to different disasters.


Keywords: Disaster relief shelters, vulnerability, community focused relief system, disaster management, disaster prevention and mitigation, resilience and self-sustenance.