Much has been mooted about whether or not the FIFA 2022 stadiums will be ‘white elephants’ after the tournament and their legacy aspects have been heralded. However, never before have they been put forward as emergency shelters.
Doha News reports that Brig Hamad Othman Al Duhaimi, director of operations at the General Directorate of Civil Defence has said that the venues, along with some schools, offices, and hotels rooms will serve as temporary accommodation and be stocked with survival kits in the event of a national emergency.
He assured that this is in line with a future-proofing program to ensure that Qatar is prepared for any type of natural disaster as climate changes. People will be duly informed about these shelters.
He did not disclose the locations or number of these buildings.
These come despite a United Nations (UN) report published in August that placed the country among the world’s safest, having escaped any major naturally-occurring incidents, owing largely to its location away from disaster hotspots.
Its safety ranking was also attributed to its preparedness in case of emergencies.
A UN visited Qatar earlier this year to collaborate with authorities on developing emergency responses. Rising sea levels and surge storms were identified as possible future threats for the State, and the body recommended thorough preparedness for these possibilities.
Representatives from a number of ministries and other government bodies comprise the MOI’s shelter committee and is tasked with drawing up emergency plans for Qatar, which include evacuation and shelter plans, moving people into central sites, according to Constructionweekonline news report.
It is also responsible for building safety and liaising with first responders to create an emergency response plan. In addition, it also trains humanitarian and government agencies so they can adequately plan and respond to a disaster situation.
In addition to MOI officials, the committee comprises members of key government agencies, including the Ministry of Public Health, the Civil Aviation Authority, Hamad Medical Corp, Kahramaa, and Qatar Petroleum.