Every year, thousands of Canadians are evacuated from their homes due to wildfires. Many evacuees are forced to stay in community evacuation shelters, which are often overcrowded, have minimal facilities, and little privacy. Victims of natural disasters are prone to heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and mental health issues. These issues are exasperated in community shelters, where living situations are unstable and insufficient.
This thesis conducts two interwoven studies. First, the existing protocols of Canadian wildfires will be researched, specifically analyzing response operations and evacuation procedures. Second, the psychological effects of natural disasters will be investigated. Through these two studies, this thesis will propose new community planning initiatives for wildfires, as well as a design for a post-disaster housing system entitled Tinderbox. Tinderbox challenges existing building technologies by exploring methods of modularity, assembly, construction, and prototyping, with a final objective of designing an effective shelter for wildfire evacuees.