The role of portable structures in the aftermath of any natural disaster is an important one, especially considering the amount of destruction that some areas go through when hit with hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. Some areas of the world know the risks of these events more than others – the collapse of Haiti’s biggest cities due to earthquake, Japan’s recent bout with a huge tsunami and even the major damage done by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. One of the biggest assists in these crises has been the ability of rescue crews to put up portable buildings for those who lost their homes and need a place to stay.
California is becoming part of a newer movement to be more prepared for disasters that may come its way by securing the use of tent shelters for displaced citizens and medical crews in case of earthquakes. An article from Whittier Daily News says that the new procedures are being enacted in preparation for the ‘Big One’:
“A devastating earthquake in Southern California would almost certainly collapse bridges, destroy roads and render hundreds of hospital beds useless, while leaving tens of thousands in need of medical care. After experts predicted in 2008 that a magnitude-7.8 earthquake would knock out 60 percent of the hospital beds in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties, first responders have become prepared with alternative medical care policies for when a catastrophic event strikes.”
The field hospital tents that are discussed in the article would be incredibly difficult to set up were it not for the progress made in portable buildings. Think about instant shelters that are easy to set up and place wherever they are needed. Without these, imagine how long it would take to get treatment to those who need it. Luckily, California is on its way to being totally prepared:
“A quake-stricken area would also have access to at least one of the state’s three mobile hospitals – a series of huge tents, each large enough for 200 beds. The tents include emergency rooms, laboratories, intensive care units and up-to-date supplies. Stored at undisclosed sites around the state, they are designed to be deployed within 72 hours.”