Vulnerability and access map

Emergency shelter


These are products focus on sectoral humanitarian needs and operations in respect of emergency shelter. They may visualise housing data as a proxy indicator of shelter needs, and data from displacement tracking work, as well as data from specific shelter needs assessments. Later in the response, they may be used as a basis for transitional shelter and reconstruction planning.

Strategic or operational?


Basemap, baseline or situational?

Baseline and situational.

When might it be produced?

They may be produced at any stage of an emergency response, but are likely to be most required and requested once a coordinated sectoral response is under way.

Intended audience

All humanitarian actors involved in shelter sector response, typically through the emergency shelter cluster. National authorities are likely to be key actors, possibly including civil protection, public works or housing ministries.

Influence on humanitarian decisions

Emergency shelter is often a crucial and urgent lifesaving need in disasters and emergencies. Mapped information on damage to and loss of dwellings, known locations of displaced people whether in formal camps or at information sites, is likely to be of high importance to the humanitarian response from an early stage of a disaster.

  • Identify as early as possible the spatial tagging in use in damage, displacement tracking and needs assessment data collection, to ensure that collected data can be mapped.
  • Use damage reports when necessary as a first proxy for shelter needs, but with care as damage analysis may not be standardised.
  • Administration boundary and settlement datasets that match the reporting structure (possibly the government's) for reporting situational data.
  • Where available, remote-sensed damage assessment data, but only if analysis is reliable and standardised, and coverage of data and analysis are known.
  • Standardised data on shelter needs, from response actors and agencies working through the emergency shelter cluster.
  • Baseline population data is likely to be important, to enable damage and potential displacement to be matched against the pre-disaster population.
  • Emergency shelter cluster or other actors may provide spatially-analysed data on shelter materials and activities, for response planning and gap analysis.

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