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Has the local Government declared a state of emergency and/or asked for international assistance?
The local Government has to be the primary responder. If Government resources are overwhelmed, then ShelterBox will look at responding, as long as we have permission to work there.
Will at least 200 families (sometimes referred to as households) still require emergency shelter by the time the aid is distributed?
Our experience shows that when fewer than 200 families have lost their homes, emergency shelter is often more quickly and easily provided by the local community like friends, family and neighbours, or government or other local organisations.
Is our aid appropriate?
This is a very important question because each disaster is different and so is each community. We work hard with families to understand what they need across different situations and look carefully at whether our aid can meet those needs in a way that is both culturally acceptable as well as working in that specific environment. Our range of disaster relief aid is designed to be adaptable across a wide range of situations and conditions, but it might not always be what is needed or wanted most. We will only respond if we can provide families with what they really need to start their own recovery.
Do we have the resources needed for the duration of a response?
We carefully look at whether we have the people, finances, and aid needed before responding. We make sure that every family and community we work with gets the full support they need so we only respond when we have the resources to see the full response through.
Can we safely respond?
We take the safety of our teams, our partners, and our beneficiaries seriously. We are experienced in working in lots of different and extreme situations around the world. We work hard to understand the risks involved and the resources we will need to help local families and ensure that our response can be carried out safely.
Do the vulnerabilities of the families who need help fall within Sphere definitions?
The Sphere Handbook is one of the most widely known and internationally recognized set of standards for humanitarian response. It outlines vulnerability criteria and response standards to ensure that humanitarian organizations are not causing harm (even if well meaning). ShelterBox uses these to help identify those within the emergency who need support the most, and we adhere to all standards outlined. Learn more here.
What is the capacity of local agencies or communities to help? Are other organisations or agencies already meeting the needs? Are there marginalisedvulnerable groups or areas that aren’t getting any help?
To ensure that ShelterBox aid has the best possible effect, we will only respond if other organisations, agencies, partners, or authorities are not already meeting the emergency shelter needs by the time we are able to give help.
Do families have the resources to recover themselves?
Our team must consider what resources are already available to families to help them recover. This includes things like average income, availability of building materials, the resilience of important infrastructure like hospitals and roads, whether families have insurance, or if government compensation is available. Our responses will focus on communities where families have limited ability to self-recover without additional help.