Disaster relief (DR) shelters play a vital role in large-scale disasters and are an important part of disaster response and recovery. DR shelters are used to provide private and secure places for people to live who have left or lost their usual accommodations as a result of some form of disaster. DR shelters not only provide immediate and short-term shelter for the victims of a disaster, but they also help them to recover from the trauma of a disaster as well as provide a base to start the process of rehabilitation. A review of the literature, case studies, guidance, and reports relating to the design of DR shelters indicates that their provision and performance are not currently as effective as they could be. A lack of adequate consideration with regard to climatic conditions, locally available materials and skills, cultural and social issues, delays, cost constraints, and poor location selection for DR shelters have each been identified as sources of poor performance contributing to an unacceptable standard of living. Moreover, there seems to be a lack of sufficient consideration with regard to the design of DR shelters for future storage and re-use.