Not only does ShelterBox strive to respond fast in a disaster to reach affected families in the shortest time possible but the charity also is constantly improving the quality of the ShelterBox aid.
Innovation is a key value for the disaster relief organisation. It enables ShelterBox to deliver the best aid package possible for people made homeless by disasters, providing them with shelter, warmth and dignity.
Midi tents, thermal layers and solar lights are this year’s new items available as part of the ShelterBox Solution.
Midi tents are a more compact version of the ShelterBox disaster relief tent. They have been designed to offer a solution for varying occupancy levels and disaster conditions.
‘The benefits of midi tents are that they are smaller to transport, easier to put up and take up less space,’ said ShelterBox Head of Operations John Leach. ‘They are therefore ideal for responses where space is at a premium or where temporary shelter is required for a shorter amount of time.’
Midi tents used in Thailand during the recent floods.
ShelterBox Response Teams (SRTs) recently distributed 1,000 midi tents in Thailand following the latest floods. They were a quick and effective solution as they are faster to distribute and are designed for families who may need to move their tent regularly. Displaced Thai families are able to use them temporarily until the water levels recede and can also move them easily if the water table shifts.
This new option enables ShelterBox to target aid effectively and to make donors’ money go further.
The ShelterBox’s disaster relief tent now has an optional purposefully designed thermal layer for extreme conditions. It can be added between the inner and outer sheets for extra insulation, improving the tent’s versatility in varying climates.
The thermal layers were used for the first time during ShelterBox’s recent deployment to Turkey following the earthquake that struck on 23 October. Temperatures plummeted below freezing but the added thermal layer made all the difference to the comfort of the displaced families.
Turkey’s emergency rescue services, AKUT, helped distribute the tents to the most affected areas. One team were all mountaineers from Istanbul and they slept in a tent with the added thermal layer:
‘We loved the tent because it was so warm. We know our mountaineering equipment and the third layer is key to the insulation.’
Nokero solar light bulbs are included as a lifesaving item in the ShelterBox kit providing light to disaster victims. They were also used for the first time in Turkey when millions of people lost power following the earthquake.
'Nokero solar lights were chosen to be part of the elite ShelterBox response kit after rigorous study and research by the ShelterBox team,' said John. 'This is their first deployment in the field, and so far they are performing admirably.'
With little access to candles or torches, affected families received five solar light bulbs as part of each ShelterBox. Every bulb brings hours of light every night for about 18 months before its AA rechargeable battery must be replaced.
The ShelterBox Solution is constantly evolving to provide the best emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for people affected by disasters, enabling them to live in dignity and safety.