Shipping containers have many attributes that makes them great for temporary housing, in fact there are many shipping container houses all around the world, but are they suitable for emergency housing after disasters?
Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, or many other types, can destroy a great number of houses and dwellings, and in the aftermath, the need to house the survivors becomes one of the most important aspects of the collective endeavor to move towards normal conditions. Here we will break down the possible uses of shipping container houses as emergency housing units in different stages after the disaster.
Immediately After the Disaster
Usually, it is most difficult to prepare temporary housing for survivors of the disaster immediately after it occurs. There might be a great number oo their original homes.f families left without a home, and usually the temporary housing offered to them in the immediate aftermath of a disaster comes in the form of tents.
There are also stadiums and other types of arenas which because of their facilities to serve a great number of people, are modified into temporary dwellings for large numbers of people. Shipping container houses can be great helps to this stage of the help, since they could be found in all the ports in the world and they are easy and fast to ship to the location in which they are required. There are other factors to consider however.
Usually, in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, the number of people in need of allocation is great, and tents can be better short-term answers to give shelter to the survivors. Tents can be transported in very large numbers in a single shipment. That is not to say shipping container houses are not useful in these situations; if the disaster has stricken in a port or anywhere with a large number of shipping containers, they can be great options. The true time for shipping containers to shine however, is the period of time after this, when people are waiting for their permanent residents to be rebuilt, which is what we talk about next.
The Rebuilding Period
Tents can only be bearable to live in for a short while. People need more robust and secure dwellings for longer periods. Studies show that there are two very important factors that help people through these difficult times; one is a sense of community. If people live together or close to a large number of people who are going through the same difficulty, it becomes easier for them to get through it.
The other factor is being close to their original location. People need to feel like they belong, and there is no better way to make people feel like they belong than keeping them close to their original homes. Shipping container houses are excellent for this phase. They are modular living quarters, which makes them great for building communities. They are also easy to port to any location, so camps could be built relatively fast for a great number of people in a location in which they feel like they have easy access to their homes.
This way, people can have robust and secure housing while trying to rebuild their old houses and get back to their normal lives. The fact that shipping containers can be modified to be acceptable living quarters or any other facilities that can serve a great number of people in the society makes them excellent tools to help people get through difficult post disaster periods. Now let’s talk about pros and cons of shipping containers for emergency housing in a bit more detail.
Advantages of Shipping Containers for Emergency Housing
As mentioned before, they are modular, which means that a great number of them can be modified relatively fast, and entire communities can be built using them. The fact that the same design can be used many times means haste in allocating people who are in desperate need of allocation. There might be other types of shipping container designs, other than housing types. Facilities such as kitchens, restrooms, storage units, medical units, and many other types, which can also make use of this modular nature.
Shipping containers are also available in most locations in the world. All ports in the world are filled with shipping containers, new or old, empty or ready to be emptied. Availability is vital in emergency housing, as you cannot offer types of allocation which will come short in numbers or take a long time to be shipped in.
Shipping containers are made to protect what’s inside them from very harsh conditions, and that too comes as an advantage in these circumstances. In many cases, disasters can strike again, and shipping container houses can be counted on to minimize the level of damage those new disasters can cause for people. They can protect people from incredibly harsh conditions, while also giving people a sense of security.
Disadvantages of Shipping Containers for Emergency Housing
In order for shipping container houses to be viable options to house large numbers of people after disasters, they need to be cheap. You can’t just give people a normal shipping container and expect them to live happily inside them for months, they need to be modified and repurposed for people to be able to live in them with comfort.
They need very careful designs, ones that maintain a good quality of life while also not costing too much. The cost of this type of housing is the most important issue. Although shipping container houses are considered cheap for the robustness and security they offer, when it comes to large numbers for temporary housing, they can become very expensive. So as mentioned before, the design needs to be very thorough to make sure it is not too expensive but livable.
Another issue which follows the cost is that new shipping containers will almost always be out of the question since they will be more expensive than used ones, and with used ones, one has to make sure that the used shipping container has not been containing materials which would be hazardous for people.If these issues are resolved, which is not a very difficult task, shipping container houses can be excellent choices for emergency housing.
Where to Acquire Shipping Containers for Temporary Housing?
Here in Green Box Containers, we have been modifying and repurposing shipping containers for years. We do our modification process in our factory, so the entire design process is done very fast with very high quality and great efficiency. We are also experienced in the design of shipping containers as living quarters, and can make them adapt to any situation. If and when disaster strikes, we are more than prepared to offer our services in large numbers for covering the requirements of those in need.