jueves, 24 de julio de 2014

(ii) Tents and shelter. Hidden costs in humanitarian aid and emergency. MAINTENANCE

Is it just the price of the emergency tent the only important thing for taking the right decision when selecting a tent for emergency brigades?


Are tent manufacturers always aware that emergency brigades and volunteers in humanitarian or emergency aid are also persons? Persons who need to have a rest after a long and strenuous journey.

They should not have to start another new job when they are going to use their temporary housing, the task of keeping the tent tight.

What if someone tought in advance in make it easier for these so sacrified and encouraging people their own living at their temporary housing?

When we look at the market we find many tent manufacturers, each of them offer 'their' own solution, but it is really hard to find some that offer not their solution but the solution of the people who is on site putting their best efforts to help damnified homeless people, to save lives, to help rejoining broken families (when possible), to organize the disaster after the catastrophe arises...

When you talk to the people who has been to the site for so many times in thier lives that they are not able to count them, you inmediately understand why they dislike so much inflatable tents, they like of course to put up their tents in few minutes, but... 

They don't want to become slaves of their temporary housing!, having to inflate and deinflate it several times a day, day after day, why?, because the outside temperature has the bad habit of changing without respecting the theoretical assumptions of tent designers.

High daytime temperatures and low temperatures at night makes the pressure of the tent vary and then it oblies to inflate the tent at night when the pressure is low and deinflate it at the middle of the day when the pressure is high.

It is not only the time spent on these annoying tasks but the noise produced by the compressor machine and the need of fueling it, and having a reserve of fuel or looking for it in the worst conditions. The emergency brigades or volunteers are not expected to devote their precious time to this intendence tasks or to be disturbed while resting at their tents by a disturbing noise when the compressor machine starts to run.

Is then the solution a traditional tent with its guy ropes? Not really, the experience shows that this kind of tents need to be adjusted also very frequently, particularly when the wind blows or the rain falls.

But, then, what is the solution for having the tent erected without devoting time to this task?

Self-supporting tent Ctents
This is one of the main ideas to have in mind: A tent should be capable of keeping its shape without making it necessary to have some people tighting the tent or adequating the inside pressure. Let's free the users so they have more time to devote to the task they are there for.

Next: Assembly

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