Using Shipping Containers
as Emergency Shelters
One recent idea after natural disasters or other disruptions
in housing availability is the use of shipping containers
for emergency shelters. In particular, they have been
used with success in Haiti, where many people still do
not have permanent structures to call home.
Shipping Container Used as Emergency
So far, shipping containers have proven to be exceptionally
valuable in areas of the Caribbean that are prone to hurricanes.
Coincidentally, there just happened to be a surplus of
the containers sitting in ports nearby, when the disaster
occurred. It is thought that these containers can also
be used in areas that have a lot of seismic activity,
since they are constructed in a way that unites the whole
box as one piece.
Shipping containers consistently meet structural codes
in many areas of the world, including the United States.
Simply making cuts for doors and windows makes them livable
and opens them up to the outside air somewhat.
The current trend of enormous storms capable of displacing
many people has developed the need for more easily-acquired
emergency shelters, and shipping containers are a natural
fit for this need. People can get back onto their land,
even if they no longer have a building there that is habitable,
if they use shipping containers for housing. These containers
would allow many people to reclaim their land.
Container Condos for Emergency Housing
Contain Yourselves ...
When communities can rebuild together, there is a stronger
bond among the people who lived there, and who will live
there again. They can work on a home instead of living
in a tent, and work together with their neighbors at rebuilding
their area. Many areas where these containers are being
tested have dismally poor housing even before disasters
Using shipping containers for emergency shelters helps
the people and the land in two ways. It allows for adequate,
immediate housing, and it solves the problem of how to
recycle the containers. It's usually cheaper for companies
to order new merchandise in new containers rather than
paying to send the empty ones back to the manufacturer.
Haiti Emergency Container Housing
With enough coordination, groups like FEMA and similar
emergency response agencies in other countries can coordinate
the supply of shipping containers, so that they will be
available when needed.
Containers that were originally used for shipping actually
lend themselves well to easier and more economical construction
in a disaster-torn area.
The components you need in houses can be added to containers
before they are shipped out. Then the container is ready
to be transported to the area of need, and it's ready
to be used as housing, without expensive on-site work.
Most containers are utilized in similar ways as they are
modified, and this construction process is very economical.
Recycling Container ...
Shipping containers fit the current needs for construction
materials that are efficient and not costly. They can
be modeled to be energy-efficient, and the containers
themselves become a renewable resource, instead of a blight
on the landscape.
These containers are recyclable, reusable and they cut
down on the other materials needed for emergency shelter
construction. They create less waste during modification,
and they are durable once they are set up. They were made
for heavy duty shipping, and this strength is an asset
when they are used as shelters.
Shipping Containers and Emergency Shelters PDF