This handbook presents some basic information on safe construction practices. Its purpose is to provide guidance on choices regarding settlement planning in risky environments, as well as on the building techniques to improve individual shelters. The contents may be used to develop trainings on participatory shelter risk reduction methods, such as PASSA. This guide is not aimed at construction professionals, although it may serve them to communicate with beneficiaries and volunteers on safety measures. The intended readers are Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers, who are not expected to be experts in shelter construction and safety but should be able to understand the most important technical aspects of shelter safety in the communities in which they work.
A range of hazards and construction types are presented here – fire, floods, strong winds and earthquakes – which typically occur in disaster-prone areas. The illustrations complement the technical recommendations and provide user-friendly support to illustrate the concepts.