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DISASTER RELIEF IN MASS SCHOOL SHELTERS: Integration of Privacy & Respite While Improving the "Condition Normal" Open Access

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With the rise in natural and man-made disasters, those affected are prone to develop mental anxiety and stress due to their experiences. The militarized type operational systems for preparation and planning of shelter areas during disaster relief efforts must address the emotional health and lack of privacy issues amongst shelter occupants. Multi-functional spaces incorporated into a school for dual purpose use can benefit adults and children throughout various times of the year. By addressing the constraints of the "normal" school environment, an improved time-based strategy for the crisis environment can be implemented.This paper outlines emergency prototypes for quick, easy to access and assemble, and efficient spaces which are implemented into the typical school design programming. Public and private spaces are designed to connect and provide a place of respite and refuge for the community. A sense of place, well-being, domesticity, and peace of mind can be established in both environments. These topics inform the design by revealing the important system elements and operations pertaining to disaster relief shelters and school operations. The design addresses issues of privacy, communication, storage, and safety and security as well as improves both the emergency and normal routines of the school site. The information is translated into design solutions that provide a sense of identity/community and well-being for the occupants of this environment during disaster relief efforts and throughout the school year.

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