After the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, New York City is getting prepped for the future with a plan to build disaster shelters out of shipping containers. Rather than makeshift dwellings for displaced victims, the city is proposing a more structurally sound alternative – shipping container homes like the ones developed by New Jersey’s Sea Box company. The project, by the NYC Department of Design and Construction, transforms modular shipping container units into living spaces that give more of the comfort and security of a real house to people who really need it after losing theirs.

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For now, hundreds of New Yorkers who lost their homes after Sandy in areas like Breezy Point and the Rockaways are either residing with friends and family or taking refuge in tents, church community rooms and school gyms. As you can imagine, communal shelters are not an easy transition for victims who have lost everything. And many will face months or years in this type of situation until rebuilding is complete.

The Bloomberg administration has been researching and developing the benefits of cargotecture over the last five years, finding it to be an innovative and more comfortable solution to disaster relief. The stackable units can be outfitted to resemble a typical apartment, and can be joined together to create a high rise or village. With small living a commonality in New York, the shipping containers may even be bigger than some apartments.

This plan would prepare hundreds of shipping containers to be stored and poised to be ready for use. Setting up shipping container villages takes very little time, so if ready, comfortable disaster shelters could pop up in just a few days in a parking lot or playground. Depending on the need, the units could be stacked up to four containers high and twelve wide, giving structurally sound, and private spaces to hundreds. Bloomberg’s hope is that FEMA will cover most of the costs.

Sea Box already transforms shipping containers into storage and living quarters for the military, and has been working with the city to design a disaster complex that people would want to call home.

+ Sea Box

Via NY Observer