Habitat for Humanity has worldwide experience responding to natural and man-made disasters from the earthquakes which hit the Caribbean nation of Haiti and Chile in South America in 2010, to Typhoon Haiyan which struck the Philippines in 2013 and the Nepal Earthquake in 2015.
Habitat works with local communities, governments and other organizations, but the focus is always on providing permanent housing solutions for people vulnerable to, or afflicted by, natural disasters, conflicts and other calamities.
Rebuilding homes and lives after a disaster may take many years. But Habitat starts from the Day After.
Habitat moves quickly to provide:
To clear the way for home repairs and new construction, Habitat for Humanity mobilizes local volunteer groups and provides them with tools – such as shovels, wheelbarrows and crowbars – to remove debris and salvage materials that can be recycled for new shelter.
Clean-up activities may involve cash-for-work components to provide families with support and stimulate local economy. Clean-up work also contributes to a survivor’s mental strength and emotional healing. It’s an active opportunity for displaced residents to directly help with recovery.
Habitat emergency shelter kits help families make immediate repairs and construct temporary shelters.
Where appropriate, Habitat and local families work to build transitional shelters – durable homes with sanitary facilities which meet basic international humanitarian needs and which can withstand the elements. These shelters later can become the basis of permanent homes.
As soon as conditions on the ground realistically allow, Habitat for Humanity begins rebuilding damaged homes and new permanent housing. A popular approach is to build a core house – a small, well-constructed, disaster-resilient structure that can be extended and expanded as a family’s circumstances and finances allow.
Technical and organizational expertise – Habitat works with aid agencies, government planners and other groups, including UN bodies, to provide expertise in shelter construction.
Risk reduction – Habitat and its partners offer training on how to protect property and communities from the risk of further destruction through preparedness and mitigation programmes.