Building permanent accommodation after disasters requires time due to different reasons, such as the removal of debris, lack of available land and resources. In the meantime, affected communities find shelter in different ways. Temporary houses or transitional shelters are used when families cannot return to their pre-disaster houses and no other alternative can be provided. In practice, families stay for years in a standard interim solution while trying to go back to their routines. Therefore, they adapt their houses in order to meet their mid-term needs. Temporary houses in Peru and Chile were analysed in order to illustrate how families modify them with or without external support. The research points out that guidance must be given on how to safely make adaptations and to incorporate the temporary solution into the permanent house, because families modify their houses either if they are designed to be adaptable or not.
This article has been originally posted on the University of Cambridge's Open Source Research Repository on 2016. The full length article can be viewed here.