Exo Provides Temporary Shelter for Disaster Victims

ExoReaction Housing has created the Exo, a stackable, portable, and durable shelter to house victims of disasters. The portable structure provides living and sleeping space for a family of four.

The Exo is durable enough to be used on a long-term basis, if necessary. The Exo is 80 square feet inside. The structures flat-pack, making them easy to store and transport.  Since they are stackable, 20 can be transported on a flatbed truck and set up quickly.

The Exo requires very little assembly. It is transported in two pieces – a floor and an upper shell, which consists of the portable building’s walls and roof. When the Exo is being deployed, the base is placed in the proper location. Then the shell is lowered onto the base and locked in place. Beds that had been secured in the walls are then lowered. A group of four people can move and construct an Exo portable shelter in under two minutes. No tools or machinery are needed.

A connector line provides electricity to a lighting system and four wall outlets. The Exo’s design allows it to be configured in several ways to meet the needs of its residents or the needs of deployment. It offers families the comfort of a climate-controlled environment.

The Exo was designed by Michael McDaniel, the founder of Reaction Housing. He was troubled by images of people crowded into the New Orleans Superdome and the Houston Astrodome after Hurricane Katrina and wanted to create a better solution to provide temporary shelter for victims of disasters. He designed the Exo and built the prototype in his backyard.

The Exo is almost ready to be used in disaster relief. The company is using crowdfunding to raise capital needed to build the Exos and modify them to best suit the needs of disaster victims who will need them.

Reaction Housing also envisions the Exo being used for commercial purposes, such as providing temporary shelter for people attending public events or festivals.

Winter is Coming! Protect your Vehicle with a Portable Garage!

car under snow

Have a vehicle that you want to store for the winter but don’t have a garage and don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars a month on storage fees? A portable garage offers you an affordable and reliable way to store any vehicle year-round. You can rest assured that your investment will be protected this winter when you purchase a portable garage.

Portable garages come in many shapes and sizes. They are perfect for storing your summer car, boat, or motorcycle. Instead of storing your vehicle off-site for hundreds of dollars a month, you can just set-up a protable garage winterportable garage anywhere on your property for less. Easily set-up and taken down, portable garages are the perfect year-round storage solution.

Constructed from heavy-duty steel frames and polyethylene covers, portable garages are tough enough to stand up to the harshest weather conditions. The polyethylene covers are chemically bonded to be rip resistant and are waterproof. They are UV-treated to block the sun’s harmful UV rays away from your investments. During the winter, heavy winds, sleet, and snow can wreak havoc on your vehicles. By storing your car, boat, or motorcycle in a portable garage you can avoid any damage from inclimate weather.

Don’t let your expensive investments fall damage to bad weather this winter. Purchasing a portable garage is an affordable and reliable alternative to other storage options. You can be confident that whatever your store in the portable garage will be safe from the harsh winter weather!

Shelters Built Completely out of Paper

emergency shelter

Shigeru Ban has been creating buildings out of recycled paper since 1986. He has built shelters and buildings, some permanent, completely out of paper all over the world. His DIY paper shelters are used after natural disasters around the globe.

Shigeru first started experimenting with his paper tube structures after he finished studying at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and Cooper Union’s School of Architecture in 1984. The paper tubes he uses to create his portable shelters are the same ones found in textile factories. Shigeru found that the tubes were mupaper church ch stronger than he imagined and were very easy to waterproof and fireproof. The paper tubes were low-cost and reliable, making them the perfect material for his architectural ideas.

At first Shigeru’s designs came in more of an art form. He created magnificient buildings out of the paper tubes that people would flock to see. He built a church, homes, and even built himself a paper office because he could not afford to rent one. Many of his structures were meant to be recycled, but became permanent fixtures because of their popularity. His focus shifted when he saw that his design could be used for emergency shelters in disaster situations.

Shigeru’s emergency shelters were first used in 1994 for refugees in Rwanda. The next year, after an earthquake in Japan, he used his paper materials to rebuild a local church that became a local fixture for 10 years.

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Ikea Creates Flat-Pack Shelter

Ikea refugee shelter

All too often people are displaced by poverty, war, and natural disasters. Most of the time, those people end up taking refuge in canvas tents that aren’t designed for long term use. The Ikea Foundation recently unveiled a new flat-pack shelter that has a modular design and solar panel to help improve living conditions for people who are in need of emergency shelter.

The shelter was part of a two year project being conducted in collaboration with the Swedish Housing Unit and the UN Refugee Agency. The prototype flat-pack shelter created by Ikea is modular and easyflat pack shelter to transport and assemble. The whole shelter comes flat-packed, allowing for easier and cheaper transportation. The portable shelter is made of a metal frame with stiffening wires to support walls and roofs made of lightweight plastic panels. Unlike other emergency shelters, Ikea’s has an aluminized shade that reflects heat to regulate the inside temperature. The aluminized shade helps keep the shelter cooler during the day and warmer at night. The shelter also has a solar panel that powers a built-in light and USB port.

Ikea says that the portable building takes only four hours to construct and will last three years. The shelter will provide better security and ventilation than other relief shelters available. The shelter will be tested on Somali refugees and their feedback will be used to improve on the design. Currently it costs $10,000 to make one of the prototype shelters, but Ikea hopes they can reduce the price to under $1,000 when mass produced.

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Portable Locker Rooms give Runners a Place for Storage

Blue Trailer

If you are a competitive runner, this scenario is all too familiar with you. You try to hide your jacket behind a bush or other secret hiding spot until you finish the race. When you return to the spot you thought no one would look, your jacket is gone. One fellow runner has started a business to give people a place to store their items safely while they enjoy their race.

Molly MacDonald had lost countless sweatshirts, jackets, and t-shirts before coming out with her brilliant idea. She launched her company, Blue Trailer, to give competitors a safe and dry place to keep their belongings during races and other events. Blue Trailer uses portable locker rooms that athletes can use to store any of their personal belongings without fear of losing them while they Runnerscompete.

The simple, yet practical idea is not in full motion yet. MacDonald is still fundraising money to compile the necessary materials for the company’s first portable locker room. MacDonald said that the only option racers have currently is a bag check, if it is offered, or to find a great hiding spot. If you do use the bag check, you have to have a bag, and you don’t have easy access to your stuff.

Many racers like to take pictures for their Instagram or write their Facebook status right before they take off. With Blue Trailer, runners can do all that and quickly store their phones safely in a locker right before the race starts. The portable storage units will come in three sizes, based on how much stuff you have. The first trailer they designed will have 500 lockers available for people to use. The company also wants to eventually have “good luck” bags in the lockers, coupons, and even random Blue Trailer t-shirts in some lockers. The company will also be pledging a portion of their sales to charity. Blue Trailer will have its first portable locker room at the Black Cat race in Salem during March 2014.

Learn how to build your own Portable Home

tiny house

With the housing market down, ever wish you could just build your own home? Wouldn’t it be great if that home was also portable? The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company will show you how to design plans for building yourself a miniature functional house. It drops right on top of a trailer hitch and you can roam the country, enjoying the sights and avoid making mortgage payments for 30 years.

This may seem like a far-fetched idea, but many people are actually doing it. The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company is actually hosting a two-day workshop this weekend in Dallas to educate anyone who wants to join the tiny house movement.

At the workshop, a tiny house expert will teach you the skills you need to build your own portable building. They will teach you about material selection, insulation, venting techniques, cost efficient construction, roofing, and guarding against condensation. After the workshop you will be on your way to the local hardware store for all the materials you’ll need to build your new tiny home.

The tiny house movement has been catching on across the country. Many people are deciding to live in smaller homes like these to avoid paying expensive mortgage payments. The people who choose to live this lifestyle are okay with having only what they need and being happy with the things they have. All of the essentials of a big home are in these mini homes, but just on a smaller scale.

The cost of the two-day workshop for creating your own tiny abode is $399. The Tumbleweed company will also sell you ready-made plans for building a tiny home if you are already good with your hands for just $89. So if you are looking for cheap housing you can take with you wherever you go, you might want to learn how to build one of these tiny homes.

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Collapsible, Lightweight Portable Shelter could Save Lives in Disaster Situations

Emergency Shelter

Unfortunately, the increase in natural disasters around the world has created a need for rapidly deployable emergency housing. While many portable shelter designs have been put into production in the last decade, this one may be the best one yet. In terms of being able to airdrop and quickly deploy emergency housing for large numbers of people, Peter Anthony’s design is top-notch.

Peter Anthony’s collapsible, lightweight mobile platform is a self-contained living space made from composite material. Each unit is 8’x8’x8’ and weighs less than 200 pounds. The whole thing can be folded flat and can be assembled by two people in less than 30 minutes. The simple transport trailer can be modified to carry up to four units along with off-grid support systems that tether with the shelters for extended use.

Anthony has been a professional building designer for twenty years, but with the housing market down, has moved his focus to creating portable emergency housing. “The whole thing started from my desire to get involved in supporting relief efforts with disasters throughout the world,” Anthony said. Weight was his primary design and development concern and his patent-pending lightweight composite panel system makes assembly quick and easy.

“The shelter is simple, lightweight and portable. Traditional materials and methods have historically shown significant weakness, being complex and requiring skilled labor to assemble, being extremely heavy, nearly all of them necessitate additional erection equipment and they’re costly in relation to energy consumption and transport and logistics.” – Peter Anthony

Anthony’s design is adaptable to many situations, ranging from emergency sheltering to mobile treatment stations. The applications of the portable shelter are only limited by the imagination. Its lightweight and folding design allow it to be airdropped into remote locations that are in need. Anthony is still working on the project, hoping to expand and make it better by adding a self-contained dry toilet. When it is completed, it will surely be one of the best portable emergency housing systems created to date.

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Overcrowded School Brings in Portable Building

Portable Classroom

Centerville Elementary in Urbana, Maryland has had an overcrowding problem for a while. To help relieve the problem, they are bringing in a portable building that will act as classrooms for the next school year.

The portable 12-classroom building is already being assembled and is known as the “Super Pod”. The building will total 14,000 square feet and will include lockers and restrooms. The portable building was previously at Lincoln Elementary during its renovations, but the Frederick County Board of Education decided last year that it would be moved to Centerville.

The building will also be outfitted with power, plumbing, and security measures such as an alarm system. The Super Pod cost around $150,000 when it was first purchased, but will cost upwards of $300,000 to Portable Buildingtake it down, reassemble it, and install all of its amenities.

Centerville Elementary Principal Stephen Raff said that the portable building will be used to house the school’s fourth and fifth grade classes. This will take about 280 of the 930 students from the main building and reduce some of the overcrowding. Centerville Elementary is currently operating at 137 percent capacity, so the portable building will at least be a temporary solution to the problem.

Centerville isn’t the only school in Urbana that is dealing with overcrowding. Many schools are also taking advantage of portable buildings to create more classrooms. A new elementary school is set to be built starting in 2015 to help permanently alleviate the overcrowding problem.

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Portable Buildings Built After Schools Were Destroyed by Explosion

West Middle School

Recently, an explosion at a fertilizer plant killed and injured many people in West, Texas. The explosion reached the nearby middle school and high school. The middle school was reduced to rubble and the high school was deemed useless due to the damage it sustained. To try and get things back to normalcy, donations were being taken and portable buildings were built as classrooms for the children.

“As citizens of West we are all in this together. Long term Recovery will take several months to years. We are working non-stop to expedite processes and procedures for the health and safety of all our citizens.” – Mayor of West Tommy Muska

The nearby town of Kyle is lending a hand in getting the people of West back to normalcy. Over the weekend, Kyle residents showed up at city hall with loads of donations. Then Kyle Council Member  Kyle DonationsSamantha Bellows-LeMense braved the traffic to West to deliver the supplies. They brought toiletries, trash bags, school supplies, blankets, non-perishable foods, Gatorade, and bottled water.

After the explosion, West was left with only one school campus, West Elementary School. In a race to get school back in session by Monday, the town was on a mission to collect school supplies for the students. The school would now also be serving fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. To help alleviate the crowding with all the new students, volunteers erected portable buildings that would act as extra classrooms.

When LeMense arrived at the school she walked the hallways giving out notebooks, pens, pencils, staplers, tape, folders, backpacks, and other much needed school supplies. After hearing that the school would be short on water, LeMense returned with a carload of bottled water.

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Portable Cabins Help Solve Overcrowding Issue


Residents of Rotorua, New Zealand are struggling with overcrowded homes. Many of the residents are considering renting portable cabins to help relieve some of the overcrowding issue.

The portable shelters are about the same size as a small bedroom and can be rented for about $60 a week. They come with a fire alarm, carpet, ability to hook up to a power source, and are delivered to a person’s property. The portable shelter suppliers are also renting them out as offices for homes andPortable Shelter as extra rooms to rent out to students, in addition to creating extra space for overcrowded homes.

The cheapest cabins are available for $55, but for some that is still too expensive. Most people who inquire about renting the cabins are low-income earners in their twenties. The government is concerned with the implications that come with renting the portable shelters. The government believes that for $60 a week people could easily upgrade to a larger property. There is also a program with Housing New Zealand that can help make accommodations.

Some issues of concern are security and bathroom access. Local portable cabin suppliers will not reveal how many units were rented in Rotorua due to market competition issues, but they did say that they were popular. John Weston of Just Cabins Rotorua said that nearly every one of his cabins were rented out.

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