Flood and cyclone shelters

Technology group

Technological Maturity

Applicable immediately

Technology Owners

  • Community
  • Local governments
  • NGOs

Needs Addressed

Protection of lives and assets

Adaptation Effects

  • Protection of lives and assets
  • Increased coping capacity

Overview and Features

Large, resilient structures elevated from the ground to protect vulnerable coastal communities from cyclones and storm surges, particularly for those whose houses are not resilient enough to withstand such events


  • The costs varies depending on the location and size of the shelter
  • In Bangladesh, Catholic Relief Services constructed 1,500 transitional shelters and repaired 1,100 houses with a budget of USD 2.55 million (CDKN, 2013)

Energy Source

Construction and maintenance of the facility

Ease of Maintenance

  • Need regular upkeep, particularly after an extreme event
  • Construction on sites with existing management and facilities for maintaining such structures can be more sustainable

Technology Performance

  • Shelters have protected communities from cyclones
  • e.g. Caritas project in Bangladesh aims to protect 13,600 vulnerable people (Cordaid, 2013)
  • e.g. The Program for Construction of Multipurpose Cyclone Shelters in the area affected by the Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh provided an estimated 62,200 people with the means to evacuate after the construction of 38 shelters (Yachiyo Engineering Co., Ltd., 2007)

Considerations (technology transfer criteria, challenges, etc.)

  • Cyclone shelters must be accessible to the target community in terms of distance from home to shelter and quality of routes for accessing the shelter
  • Safety must be ensured
  • Provision of adequate supplies such as food, water and clothing to shelter users
  • Attention must be paid to the social and political power dynamics surrounding access and security

Co-benefits, Suitability for Developing Countries

  • Cyclone shelters can be used as schools or other community facilities when not in use as a shelter
  • In some scenarios, encouraging people to use the shelter is challenging due to their desire to protect assets
  • Local materials can be used
  • The necessary training and technology should be provided to the local community
  • Lack of land tenure to allocate to the construction of shelters can pose problems to vulnerable communities
  • Limitations due to transport and material quality control.


  • Improving Access to Cyclone Shelters in Bangladesh
  • The Program for Construction of Multipurpose Cyclone Shelters in the Area Affected by the Cyclone Sidr
  • Primary School – cum – Cyclone Shelters in Myanmar

Information Resources

  • CDKN, 2013. Reverse Engineering: 2009 Cyclone AILA. Available at: [[19] March 2015]
  • Cordaid, 2013. Construction of Cyclone Shelters. Available at: [[1]] [20 March 2015]
  • GoI, 2006. Guidelines for design and construction of cyclone/tsunami shelters. Available at: [[2]] [11 December 2014]
  • IFRC. n.d. Empowering communities to prepare for cyclones. Available at: [[3]] [11 December 2014]
  • JICA, 2013. Myanmar Thirteen Primary School-cum-Cyclone Shelters completed for the development of education in Myanmar and secure the lives of Myanmar people. Available at: [[20] March 2015]
  • Mallick, B. 2014. Cyclone shelters and their locational suitability: an empirical analysis from coastal Bangladesh. Disasters 38: 654–671. Available at: [[4]] [11 December 2014]
  • Yachiyo Engineering Co., Ltd., 2007. Natural Disaster Prevention. Available at: [[5]] March 2015]