Are shelters prepared for winter? About

The aim of this application is to assess whether emergency shelters are suitably prepared for winter, by answering simple questions about a series of photographs from displacement sites in Jordan and Iraq.

When people flee disasters, they may spend time in camps, sometimes for many years. Emergency shelters - often tents - need to be protected from harsh climatic extremes in both summer and winter. Protection from wind, rain and freezing temperatures are among minimum requirements for emergency shelter.

Weather conditions in the Middle East are characterized by very warm summers and cold winters, with temperatures sometimes dropping below freezing. In winter, heavy rain, snow and high winds can sweep the region, leaving displaced families in camps and informal settlements particularly vulnerable.

To help in the assessment, we ask questions based around Shelter Cluster indicators, informed by REACH shelter assessments.

In this project we want to know the following:

  1. Is the shelter raised off the ground?
  2. Does the shelter have a second cover?
  3. Is there space to put a chimney safely inside the shelter?

The answers to needs assessment questions like this help local people, governments, and humanitarian actors plan an emergency response. To understand more about the concrete impacts of this approach, read how storm damage in January 2015 affected emergency shelters in Zaatari camp and across Southern Syria following winter storm Huda.

How does it work?

Answer the questions as best you can, we highly recommend taking the tutorial before starting so you know what to look for.

If you need some pointers, you can click on the help for each question.

Don't worry if you are not sure about your answer, each photo is presented to at least 30 people and the final answers are taken from the majority response. So there is no problem if you get a couple wrong.

Sometimes it will be difficult to see what is in the photo - if you are not sure, don't be afraid to select "I DON'T KNOW", this is also an answer!

Don't worry either if you find you have a lot of photos that are not relevant, sometimes you might go through several photos in a row that have no shelter before finding one you can analyse.

What are we doing with the results?

Results generated by your contributions to this application will help us assess if data produced this way could complement field assessments. More generally we will also use these results to determine how these types of applications could be best used in a disaster situation. Ideally the results from these applications would be used to complement other sources of data informing the response and recovery effort such as satellite imagery analysis and field assessments.

Application developed with Megan Passey of the REACH Initiative and Cobi Smith.

Application icon courtesy of REACH Initiative.