The Department of Homeland Security through the Southeast Region Research Initiative (SERRI) has contracted with the GCCDS to design prototype temporary disaster housing as described in Overview: FEMA Region IV Capability Gaps (12 August 2010) as capability gap number 2010-RCD-004, Temporary Disaster Housing: Developing a Temporary Housing Unit Design and Prototype. The key objective of this project is to develop an inventory of reusable housing units that meet the unique requirements of disaster housing, which can be produced by multiple manufacturers at a cost-effective scale, streamline the housing unit life-cycle, and be configured for the size and composition of a range of households in varying disaster situations.
Providing disaster housing has been a continual challenge because temporary housing units in the past typically consist of either modified recreational vehicles or manufactured homes, neither of which is designed to meet the challenges of disaster response and recovery. Recent costly and time-consuming performance-related problems with traditional housing units have highlighted the Federal government’s need to efficiently and effectively respond to future disaster housing needs by: 1) raising the standard of disaster housing by improving unit design specifications and construction, and 2) accounting for the logistics of temporary housing by creating a standardized, reusable inventory to improve procurement, delivery, retrieval, storage, and maintenance of disaster housing units.
The formative design challenge of the Re-Usable Disaster Housing is to plan for the second and third disaster. Even though the housing need after a disaster is temporary, the housing inventory should be designed and constructed to have a long life-cycle. Single-use disaster housing, which is either disposed of or decommissioned, is wasteful and will never create an inventory that is ready to be deployed. Standardized specifications that can be produced by multiple manufacturers would allow FEMA to quickly increase the housing inventory and respond to disaster housing needs in a more intelligent and sustainable way. A standardized, reusable approach to disaster housing will allow lessons learned to be implemented and incremental improvements to be made without changing to an entirely new product and unit design at each disaster cycle.
We invite you to stay informed of the progress of this exciting and timely project through the GCCDS blog, or contact us at email@example.com for more information.