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A method for determining the suitability of schools as evacuation shelters and aid distribution hubs following disasters: case study from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

Tsioulou, A; Faure Walker, J; Lo, DS; Yore, R; (2020) A method for determining the suitability of schools as evacuation shelters and aid distribution hubs following disasters: case study from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. Natural Hazards 10.1007/s11069-020-04380-3. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Despite the controversy regarding their use, school buildings are often assigned as emergency evacuation shelters, temporary accommodation and aid distribution hubs following disasters. This paper presents a methodology to compare the relative suitability of different school buildings for these purposes by using the analytical hierarchy process to weight criteria based on the combined opinions of relevant experts and combine these with descriptive scores from surveyed buildings. The aggregated weights show that approximately equal weighting should be given to the hard characteristics (hazard at location and physical vulnerability) and soft characteristics (accessibility, communications, living environment, access to supplies). As well as immediate safety, conditions for inhabitation are important so that displaced persons are not discouraged from evacuating to shelters and shelter life is not detrimental to health and well-being. The study allows an optimal selection of school buildings used as shelters before and after a disaster and highlights where most improvement could be made with relatively little time and resources for both individual buildings and the whole study area. This method was applied to Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines, an area exposed to floods, windstorms and earthquakes, but can be adapted for other local contexts and building types. Among the 38 school buildings surveyed, we identified key areas for improvement as being insufficient pedestrian access for evacuation at night and for those with mobility constraints, and a lack of alternate spaces for evacuee activities leading to interference with education.

Type: Article
Title: A method for determining the suitability of schools as evacuation shelters and aid distribution hubs following disasters: case study from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11069-020-04380-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-020-04380-3
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Vulnerability, Shelter, Distribution hub, Evacuation, Schools, Analytical hierarchy process
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10113713
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