Emergency shelter 10k

Stewart Gray
Family tent is the basic module of 10k camp
Image: Stewart Gray

The structure of a Finnish Red Cross emergency shelter unit is based on the basic module of a family tent, and an average family size of five people.

Whilst the amount of families increases, services and functions are added to the shelter camp structure. Even if a shelter camp is meant to be used for a finite period of time, measured in months rather than years, functions and services are there to facilitate the process to gearing towards the return of normalcy for the camp dwellers.

As one can see from the chart on the right hand page, units consisting of family tents form larger components and each component adds new shared elements into the camp. The modular structure of the emergency shelter camp means that instead of the whole structure one can choose to deploy a “village” or an “area” only.

The structure of 10k emergency shelter camp

One tent

  • One family
  • Five people
  • Accessories for accommodation, food preparation, hygiene, and clothing for one family

One block

  • Four families
  • 20 people
  • Latrines and shared clean water storage

One neighbourhood

  • Ten blocks
  • 200 people
  • Garbage disposal, communal kitchen, communal space, water point and children’s playground

One village

  • Five neighbourhoods
  • 1,000 people
  • School, shared laundry place and space for sports activities. Fuel distribution in a cold climate location.

One area

  • Five villages
  • 5,000 people
  • Water purification unit. Relief item distribution point

10k camp

  • Two areas
  • 10,000 people
  • 2,000 family tents
  • Basic health clinic, market square, cemetery

Finnish Red Cross emergency shelter camp unit is a novel disaster response tool aimed at providing temporary shelter to people who have lost their homes. The capacity of the camp is 10,000 to 13,000 people depending on how many people on average live in one family tent.

In addition to family tents, the structure of the camp also includes the necessary infrastructure to sustain the life of a temporary human dwelling of this size. The everyday function of the camp is very much based on the active participation of its inhabitants as well as the cooperation of the permanent local population of the area, public authorities and other humanitarian actors.

Finnish Red Cross emergency shelter unit is also part of the national emergency supply of the Finnish government.

Staffing of emergency shelter camp

  • 1 Team Leader
  • 2 Administration delegates
  • 1 Information delegate
  • 10-15 Technical delegates (specialities: water and sanitation, IT, logistics, electricity, procurement, relief distribution plus generalists)
  • 1 General practitioner
  • 3 Nurses (of which one is a midwife)

In addition, emergency shelter camp hires, depending on circumstances, local staff such as teachers, warehouse staff, interpreters, nurses, electricians etc. Several hundred local staff is needed as well as the cooperation of camp dwellers.

Emergency shelter camp unit weighs app. 200,000 kilos and requires the transport capacity of 22 semi-trailer trucks. Eight regular freight planes are needed to dispatch the camp in its entirety to its location by air freight.

Overseas deployments of the 10k emergency shelter unit (by 31.12.2010):

  • 2010 Emergency shelter services for 2.300 families to Haiti, in connection with the January 12th 2010 earthquake.