Shelter is often needed when people lose their homes to a natural or manmade disaster. Displacement forces victims to take refuge in makeshift shelters or in locations unprepared for a suddenly larger population. In 2010, the earthquake in Haiti moved people to form tent cities on public property, taking up space and creating unsanitary and insecure conditions. That same year, natural disasters displaced 42 million people total around the world. Migration as a result of emergency conditions can also produce political conflict and environmental degradation, adding to the harm caused by the disaster.
Disasters are all too frequent, and the material and human costs of such events vary widely. Though disaster strikes both wealthy and poor regions of the world, such events cause especially high levels of death and destruction in developing countries where emergency response is limited. Alongside natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, man-made disasters such as nuclear accidents and oil spills also present great danger to human and animal life. Humanitarian relief is aid to victims of a natural or man-made disaster.
clean water + sanitation
Globally, more than 660 million people don’t have safe drinking water, and 2.4 billion lack access to improved sanitation facilities.
Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people suffering from a disaster may not get the help and resources they need. More specifically, funding gaps exist from one country to the next due to their geographic and/or political positions, not to mention their humanitarian needs.
One of the most challenging aspects of emergency relief is how to manage a large number of deaths. Globally, disasters claim the lives of thousands of people every year, yet management of the dead is often overlooked in planning,
Reducing disaster risk requires communities to be properly prepared, so that they are in a better position to respond when a disaster does strike.
Disasters don't recognize borders or socio-economic status. Anyone at any time and in any corner of the world can suffer from a crisis which requires a coordinated, global relief effort in order to provide emergency food, shelter and other provisions.
Disasters can cause significant numbers of severe, disabling injuries, resulting in a public health emergency. Medical relief is an essential part of the immediate response in a large-scale disaster.
Psychologists are often mobilized in response to a disaster in order to help survivors, volunteers and other relief personnel cope with the stress of the situation.
search + rescue
Disasters strike with little to no warning, often causing loss of life, injury and other serious disruptions which can not always be dealt with by local authorities. Response times in situations of crisis vary community by community and often require specialists to assist in the search and rescue procedures.