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The International Day for Disaster Reduction, held every 13th October, celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. Over the last 20 years, over 1.35 million people have died as a result of their vulnerability and exposure to natural hazards. Over 4 billion have been displaced and left homeless, injured or in need of emergency assistance.

This year, the IDDR 2017 is targeting a reduction in the number of people affected by disasters globally by 2030, with a slogan this year of Home Safe Home. In support of the Day, BRE focused on:

  1. Shelter solutions:
  • Humanitarian Demonstration Shelter

BRE collaborated with CRS (Catholic Relief Services) to create a demonstration of the techniques and materials that can be used to create an effective humanitarian shelter. Based on the Sphere Standards for shelter building, the unit is an amalgam of various techniques and materials, showing how various vernacular materials such as bamboo, adobe bricks and mud construction can be used in different parts of the world.” Read more here.

  1. Holistic Shelter and Settlement Sustainability and Resilience tool
  • QSAND (Quantifying Sustainability in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters) tool

QSAND is a free to use shelter and settlement sustainability assessment tool. Developed by BRE on behalf of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working with a range of humanitarian stakeholders, QSAND promotes and informs sustainable approaches to relief, recovery and reconstruction before and after a natural disaster. Its focus is embedding long-term sustainability measures in the built environment which promote resilience over the life of the development and, as a result, support disaster affected areas to recover faster following a natural disaster.

QSAND has been practically applied on projects in Gorkha, Nepal. This application of QSAND has allowed the projects to focus on key areas and promote sustainability and resilience in the reconstruction after the 2015 earthquake. This has allowed communities to reduce their vulnerability and exposure to natural disasters in the future.

  1. How you can get involved
  • The demonstration shelter is based at BRE’s innovation park in the UK. It is free to access and will be used in part as an educational tool for those interested in learning more about the practical side of creating sustainable resilient shelters
  • Application and development of QSAND is underway, find out how you can get involved and how the tool may be able to support your work

An hour-long webinar will be taking place on 13th October linking to the importance of the International Day for Disaster Reduction and information about its targets and aims as well as introducing you to the QSAND tool.

If you are interested in attending the webinar, please sign up here.

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