Disaster Help with Shelter Boxes


Why the Need?

Evanston, Ill., Nov. 2005) — Rotary clubs around the world have raised over US$500,000, organized medical teams, set up mobile relief camps, and collected blood and donated goods for the earthquake victims in South Asia.

“As winter arrives, the need for shelter and other supplies for families victimized by 8 October earthquake is acute,” says Abdul Khan, an officer with a Rotary club in Pakistani Kashmir. According to Khan, there are nearly 100 Rotary clubs in the affected areas. Many of the clubs are working around the clock to meet the urgent demands for aid.

Examples of Rotary relief efforts:

Rotary clubs in Indian Kashmir and Punjab have sent 3,800 blankets, 1,400 sets of woolen garments, 10 tons of food and 50 large tents to Srinagar, Pakistan, to assist earthquake victims.

The Rotary Club of Karachi Midcity in Pakistan and Afghanistan has sent volunteers to most of the relief camps set up by Rotaract clubs throughout Karachi. The club is collecting funds to address the immediate need for 500,000 tents, dry milk and medicine.

Rotary clubs in Delhi have sent 10,000 blankets and 500 four-person tents to Jammu and Indian Kashmir. The Rotary clubs estimate that one million blankets and 2,000 tents will reach the affected area within days.

The Rotary Club of Rawalpindi Rohtas in Pakistan has collected medical supplies (bandages, ointment, analgesics and medicine), dry food items, warm clothing, blankets, tents and drinking water for victims in the most affected region of Bagh-Azad Kashmir.

Rotarians with medical background from Chandigarh and Punjab in India are working as volunteers in the affected areas.

Rotary Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland sent 400 shelter boxes, tents and medical supplies. Each shelter box kit provides tents and basic necessities for up to 10 people. This effort was greatly aided by free air transport provided by an international airline.

Rotary Club of Gold Coast Lake Success club & District 7250 in New York, USA, sent a container of emergency medical supplies to Pakistan.

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who are members of more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in nearly 170 countries.

What are Zones doing?

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many Rotarians are interested in developing projects to alleviate the suffering and hardship of individuals in the affected communities.


RI Zones 29 and 30, which include areas affected by Katrina and surrounding districts, have also deployed 100 Shelter Boxes to Houston, Texas for the refugees stationed there. RI Director Robert Stuart is overseeing the collection of funds for additional boxes. The Shelter Box project began as a Rotary club-to-club project to provide disaster victims with necessary items. The boxes are being prepared to meet the needs of the hurricane/flood victims, containing two tents, water purification tablets, and other miscellaneous tools and equipment. Each box costs US$900 and will provide support for 20 people. For more information, please contact RI Director Robert Stuart, telephone: 217-544-8491 (office); PDG and ShelterBox USA President Jerry Hearn, telephone: 941-704-6627 (mobile), PP; and ShelterBox USA Director Beth Palmer, telephone: 315-483-6118 (office), ShelterBox USA, 8374 Market St. #203, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202.

What are Shelter Boxes?

ShelterBoxes are sponsored by service clubs, (Rotary Clubs), school and church groups, businesses and individuals, etc. Materials are ordered from a range of suppliers selected for general use, long-life, quality and price. ShelterBoxes are prepared and packed using all new materials as delivered from manufacturers, at the ShelterBox warehouse based in Helston, Cornwall. The standard ShelterBox weighs 110 lbs. and has approximate dimensions 33" x 24" x 24". They are sealed and banded for transit and security and are made up of the items listed below:

One 49 gallon box (The ShelterBox) initially the container for delivery of the materials listed below. Once delivered, can be used as water tank, food store, cot, table, etc

One three-compartment, ten-person, domed-tent complete (200 square feet of covered accommodation), comprising inner tent, outer fly-sheet and repair kit.

Ten envelope-type sleeping bags.

One pack of 180 water purification tablets and one 5 gallon flat-pack water container
(Each tablet will purify a full container of water providing 1,800 gallons of clean drinking water which should be sufficient for a family of ten for up to three months).

Two 2.1 gallon, collapsible, plastic water carriers.

Two sets of basic cooking/eating utensils (pots, pans, plates, cups, etc)

One trenching shovel

One package of three flashlights/batteries and additional set of spare batteries

Rope, 164 foot

Ten PVC Ponchos/ ten HD plastic bags

Tool kit in canvas bag: hachet, jack-knife, screwdriver, hammer, etc.
Multi-fueled cook stove

The contents are under continuous review. For example, due to its fragility, use of a wind-up torch was discontinued in June 2003; and replaced with water containers, different torches and batteries, a knife and a large cooking pot. A small stock of wind-up radios (short-wave and FM) has been obtained to substitute a sleeping bag in every tenth box should such a requirement arise.

For shipping purposes, a large container (40 feet) can accommodate up to 240 ShelterBoxes, smaller containers would typically be half the size and quantities.

Plans are in development for site-specific Box contents to address varying climate conditions. For example, a tropical disaster site would require sleeping mats and mosquito netting instead of sleeping bags.
The price of a complete Shelter Box is $900 (US). This includes the purchase of new Box items, assembly, warehousing and their subsequent delivery to the site location, (covering transportation, handling, insurance) and standard administrative costs. Administrative time for Shelter Box USA is donated by the Rotarians of Lakewood Ranch,FL.

Smaller donations are also gratefully accepted. ShelterBox USA will combine partial donations and distribute a complete box when funds equal the cost of an entire box. All donations submitted with a mailing address will be sent a tax-deductible receipt, noting the Box number their contribution funded.

ShelterBox USA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

The ‘ShelterBox Trust’ and in conjunction, ShelterBox USA, will only distribute aid material on the basis of need and within safe and achievable operating parameters. Location and time specific donations cannot be accepted.

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