200-person Shelter Module

Date / Period
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Object Type
Canadian Red Cross

When a natural disaster like a flood hits, speedy emergency response is critical. Since 2013, shipping containers have been utilized to provide shelter supplies which, depending on distance, can be deployed within one to five hours. Large containers contain enough supplies — blankets, cots, hygiene kits, and materials ranging from tissues to children’s games — to assist 200 people. If not all of the material is needed, they can be sent to another location in need. The result has been a cost-effective, streamlined delivery service which gets supplies to where they are most required.

Containers played a part in the ongoing efforts to assist those affected by the flooding which devastated Alberta in June 2013. In many areas, over 200 mm of rain fell within two days. The already oversaturated ground was unable to cope and the flooding led to an estimated $5 billion in damage.

"In many areas, over 200 mm of rain fell within two days."

The response to the disaster, according to Maclean’s, “revealed the boundless capacity of Canadians to deal with whatever nature throws their way.” The Canadian Red Cross quickly established operation centres, distributing over 945,000 relief supplies as it assisted evacuation efforts.

Once the waters receded, the Red Cross worked to provide longer-term assistance to the affected communities. Clean-up kits were distributed to residents, while cash cards were handed out to help families purchase food, gas, and other home necessities. The Community Grants Program covered 70 projects, including the rebuilding of High River’s library. Housing support was provided to affected First Nations. Initiatives were launched to help flood-stricken communities prepare for future disasters, stressing the need for emergency planning.

Overall, a survey of those who applied for services after the flooding found that nearly 96 per cent of respondents felt the presence of the Red Cross in their community was a reassuring one.

200-person Shelter Module

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