The main objective of the roundtable was to discuss the innovative techniques for a suitable refrigeration system that would accommodate large number of deceased persons after mass fatality incidents.
The roundtable involved structured brainstorming sessions on key topics for the application of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. The availability of refrigerated storage during a mass fatality incident is essential as it slows the decomposition process and, in turn, preserves the personal characteristics of the deceased facilitating the identification process.
The ICRC’s Management of the Dead program promotes the proper and dignified recovery, storage, examination, identification and repatriation of those who die during natural and man-made disasters. The roundtable was designed in response to needs determined by the ICRC and brought together academia and industry to develop a refrigerated storage solution to accommodate high numbers of deceased persons as a result of a mass fatality incident. The availability of refrigerated storage during a mass disaster is essential as it slows the decomposition process and, in turn, preserves the personal characteristics of the deceased facilitating the identification process.
As disasters can occur in remote areas and/or overwhelm the local capacity for refrigerated storage, the objective of the roundtable was to brainstorm possible solutions for increased capacity. The characteristics of the innovative refrigerated storage included the following:
Refrigeration Capable — An insulated structure with the capacity to maintain a temperature of 4° Celsius and below in the most demanding environments.
Independent Energy Source — Self-regulating and preferably renewable source of energy.
Capacity for 50 persons, at least — The internal layout would provide space to include shelving and access to all deceased.
Privacy and Security — Have a durable external structure with appropriate locks for restricted access.
Lightweight and Portable — Can be transported and relocated to facilitate a mass fatality incident with minimal need for heavy equipment/vehicles (airlifted if necessary).
Durable — Can withstand harsh environmental conditions.
Easy Set-Up — |s time-efficient and can be assembled and dissembled in short time with minimum training.
Cost Efficient – Have an economical, yet sustainable structure.
Manageable Design — The materials used should be locally sourced, available and could be constructed in a short time, if needed.