A Methodology For Selection Of Post-Disaster Shelter

The people and agencies involved in post-disaster relief operations would naturally like to utilize their limited resources in best possible way. The various shelter options and technologies available in Bangladesh differ in cost, durability as well as quality of services provided by them. It was deeply felt that a rational approach for selecting the shelter option should be available. Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) was entrusted by the Aid Management Office of the British High Commission, Dhaka, to develop guidelines for selecting the appropriate shelter from among a wide range of alternatives. BUET organized a series of Workshops on 'Post-Disaster Shelter Options' in 1994-1995, where the participants came from various national and international organizations involved in post-disaster management across the country, as well as academia. During the course of the workshops, various facts, figures and experiences concerning shelter options following a disaster was collected. BUET developed a methodology for evaluating the different shelter options, where a Value for Money (VfM) index is calculated for all options in a rational but simple manner. During the workshop deliberations, BUET showed the use of the method with the data collected from the participants. The objective of this paper is to present this methodology, which can be used by organizations involved in providing shelter materials to the poor community in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Numerical results are also presented to demonstrate the application of the method.