We've seen a ton of emergency shelter concepts, and it's always exciting to see when one of these ideas becomes a reality. Life Cube, an inflatable tent that can set up in just five minutes is an example of a smart shelter design that has actually been built. Packed neatly into a recycled plastic container, it contains all the basic necessities needed post-disaster, including food, water, a battery, lights, radio, solar trickle charger and of course, a place to recuperate. Although the Life Cube hasn't been vetted in a real world scenario, the company has at least had a chance to show it off to the Red Cross.
Life Cube offers 144 sq ft of instant emergency space and requires no tools to set up. The shelter arrives in a crate made from post-consumer recycled plastic shipping pallets and can be rolled if necessary using these patented steel round frame inserts. Upon arrival to a safe location, the plastic pallets are removed and laid on the ground in a square with an entrance pad. We have to assume there are 4 panels stowed inside the 6 sided cube in order to make the full square base.
Then a CO2 canister included with the package inflates the canopy, which is manufactured by the Patten Company, who has made NAVY life-rafts for over 50 years. The inflatable canopy is made from polyester fabric that is tear-proof and fire-retardant and designed to withstand winds up to 50 mph. There are three doors, which allow multiple shelters to be lined-up and zipped together creating multiple rooms.
Along with the shelter and plastic raised platform, Life Cube comes equipped with a table, food, water, communications, first-aid, warmth, bedding, sanitation, and wash station. Optional equipment, like an electrical system with 12-volt battery, solar panel trickle charger, lighting, electric pump, and communications station, propane system with cooking stove and catalytic heater or an infrastructure system with table and telescopic uprights for wind support, could also be included.
Life Cube can easily be delivered to a disaster site, and can be used as a mobile command station or even for non-emergency purposes like outdoor events. You can even have your company’s logo printed on it which leads us to wonder if some brands might be interested in sponsoring emergency shelters. Can’t you just see it now, a hundred Life Cubes lined up with the Coca-Cola logo imprinted all over the tents?