Portable Shelters in New Zealand Earthquake Aftermath

There is some good news following in the wake of the tremendously tragic situation in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an earthquake struck in late February. The Marlborough Express is reporting that there is some help coming to the aid of those affected by the earthquake in the form of portable shelters:

“The Placemakers DIY chain will donate 20 emergency “sleepouts” to house people left homeless by the Christchurch earthquake last week and could make hundreds more.

Three prototypes of temporary shelters, one of them built at Placemakers Blenheim last week, were sent to Christchurch to be checked by Canterbury Civil Defence and the Department of Building and Housing and will be given to some of the thousands of people who cannot live in their homes.

The 4.2-metre-by-2.4m plywood huts have a door, window, heater, insulation, carpet and electrics that can be plugged into a portable generator or holiday park sockets. They can also be made with toilets that connect to sewerage.”

One of the primary reasons that sturdier, long lasting shelters were built instead of a makeshift tented area is due to the cleanup efforts. The article says that the overall reconstruction from the quake will take much longer than just a few months, which makes a more permanent shelter option the best idea. These shelters were actually designed specifically for Christchurch, seeing that the supplies and conditions were getting thin:

“Heading to Christchurch to help meant finding somewhere to stay and putting pressure on resources for shelter, water and food, which were already stretched, he said. So the company decided to attack the problem of families going into autumn and winter without a home.

Four Blenheim staff started on the prototype on Thursday and sent it to Christchurch on Saturday. They enjoyed being able to do something to help, he said.”