It’s no secret that shipping containers can do a lot more than just ship cargo overseas—for quite some time now, they have functioned as homes, workplaces, and retail space to many. However, one particular purpose that they seem tailor-made for is providing shelter in times of disaster, replacing flimsy makeshift shelters with steel durability.
Impervious to the weather conditions that would take down a lot of weaker buildings, the original purpose of shipping containers as transporters of goods across the unpredictable seas makes them virtually indestructible. Additionally, their transferrable nature makes them ideal for situations involving temporary living space.
The Clean Hub
A real-world example of these functions in action is The Clean Hub, a self-sustaining source of clean water, electricity and sanitation. The Clean Hub displays the ability of creating homes from shipping containers to deliver living assistance in a stable yet portable fashion.
The need for temporary solutions in times of emergency oftentimes causes people to resort to band-aid shelter solutions that prove to be weak living spaces. Shipping container shelters not only have the strength to endure the wrath of Mother Nature; they also live forever, unlike even the most “weather-resistant” tents.
The Clean Hub is a success story of a low-maintenance container-built structure. Their first prototype was first put to work in 2007 at the Farmer’s Market in New Orleans, an experiment that resulted in plans for an immunization center, a maternity clinic, a theater, and a community center. The evident versatility of this structure demonstrates its clear effectiveness in satisfying basic survival needs.
Green Container International Aid
Green Container International Aid is a German organization existing with just this purpose, aiming to turn abandoned shipping containers into villages for people in need. The organization estimates that there are 17 million shipping containers around the world that are no longer in use—and they’re on a mission to track them down to provide reliable & durable homes from shipping containers to replace homes that have been wiped out by the elements.
This organization operates via donated or discovered shipping containers that have been sitting unused by turning them into collections of shelters to help out groups of people affected by large-scale disasters, such as the destructive Haiti earthquake of 2010. This process of recycling containers also reduces waste, giving jobs to empty containers taking up space.
Sometimes, even when building new traditional homes is a physical option, disaster victims are mentally unable to live in them because of their developed distrust in conventional permanent building structures (also known as concrete-phobia), as noted on the Green Container International Aid website. After the Haiti disaster of 2010, some of the people who retained their homes chose to sleep in tents out front because they feared that their homes would not hold up.
Shipping container shelter can bring the security and peace-of-mind that disaster victims need, whether they’re being used as short-term or long-term housing.
Utilize Containers to Save Lives Today
New, used and refurbished containers are available for purchase, with many options of adding modifications to help prepare a container for its new life as a living space that can go anywhere. If you are part of a humanitarian organization and need a shelter solution for a large group of displaced people, creating homes from shipping containers is the trusted answer when in need of resilient and portable housing.
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