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How Can Shipping Containers Be Used In Disaster Recovery?

In the last few years, natural disasters have become increasingly more common. Research from the Institute for Economics and Peace has shown that since 1900, the yearly number of natural disasters has risen from just 39 to an incredible 396 incidents by 2019.

These disasters are only set to continue to increase as climate change worsens. Here in Australia, we are seeing a far higher rate of disasters impacting our shores, with storms, flooding, and bush fires causing loss of life, destruction of property, and displacement of communities. These increasing disasters are placing significant pressure on emergency services and local governments as they work to reduce the impact they have on the local population and ensure that there is enough temporary portable accommodation for those who have lost their homes.

Shipping Containers | Disaster Recovery | Australia

The Rising Challenge

There can be no denying that there is an ever-increasing number of natural disasters occurring each year. Extreme weather and mega-fire, alongside emerging biological threats such as COVID-19, have meant that we have never faced such severe challenges as we do today.

Flooding is one of the biggest issues facing the world today, with it making up 71% of all natural disasters over the last three decades. This is something that has significantly impacted Australia in recent years, particularly on the east coast. However, bush fires are also a major threat to properties, human life, and agriculture, with the likes of Black Saturday and the 2019 – 2020 fires burning millions of acres and destroying everything in their path.

With such devastating destruction, fast, temporary portable accommodation, such as that provided by a shipping container, is one of the most critical aspects of relief efforts. This not only acts as accommodation for residents who have lost their homes, but it can also act as a wide range of alternative uses.

What are the uses of shipping containers in a natural disaster?

Effective preparation is essential in reducing the impact that these natural disasters have on a community. Temporary portable accommodation provided by shipping containers is a fantastic option that can offer a huge array of opportunities, including:

1. First aid units

One of the biggest advantages that shipping containers can provide following a natural disaster is as a temporary first aid unit. When customised, these units are not only completely weatherproof, but they are also fire-resistant and capable of withstanding the toughest of conditions. Unlike canvas tents, this durability makes them fantastic against flooding or from re-igniting a fire from airborne embers.

Modifying a shipping container can quickly turn the space into a first aid unit. This could be as a storage facility for medicine and essential medical equipment, with it possible to create climate-controlled facilities that can keep them in the perfect operating temperatures.

They can also be kitted out to become emergency operating theatres or medical facilities, providing essential treatment to those injured in these disasters. With the right modifications, these storage containers can also be converted into working offices for doctors or as rest facilities for medical staff.

First Aid Modular Building | Shipping Container | Australia

2. Temporary Shelter

Natural disasters such as flooding or bushfires can destroy everything in their path, causing complete loss of property. This means that hundreds, if not thousands, of homeowners can be left without a roof over their heads.

In this instance, shipping containers can become fantastic temporary portable accommodation for families. Not only are they insulated and capable of withstanding the elements, but they are also incredibly quick to install and set up.

These units can be refurbished to contain sleeping compartments, sanitation facilities such as toilets and showers, as well as portable kitchens. This ensures homeowners have everything they need to live comfortably until more permanent accommodation can be arranged.

Temporary Accommodation | Shipping Container | Australia

3. Mobile water treatment plants

Finding fresh and clean drinking water can be one of the biggest challenges following a natural disaster. This is why storage containers and temporary portable accommodation can also be used to create a mobile water treatment plant.

They can be refurbished to contain all of the equipment needed to remove contaminants from rainwater or polluted water and make it safe for drinking. The ease of portability, alongside the rapid setup time, ensures that they are an essential addition following any disaster and can provide clean drinking water for everyone in the community.

4. Secure storage facilities

Of course, natural disasters do not just impact homeowners. These events can also significantly impact businesses across the region. For many organisations, the destruction of property means that they have an urgent requirement of secure storage facilities to keep their goods protected from further damage or criminals.

Storage containers are used to securely transport over 11 billion tonnes of goods each year and can be a great way to keep essential items secure. Thanks to being entirely weatherproof, adding belongings into these containers ensure that they will be fully sheltered from the elements.

Not only can they act as temporary portable accommodation, but these units can also be a great way to transport essential belongings and items away from disaster zones into areas of safety.

Secure Storage | Shipping Container | Australia

What are the benefits of using shipping containers as temporary portable accommodation?

The use of shipping containers as a form of temporary portable accommodation is incredibly versatile, and they are able to provide property owners and disaster relief teams with a huge array of opportunities. They also have a vast range of benefits, including:

1. Quick construction

One of the biggest advantages of using shipping containers for temporary portable accommodation is the speed with which they can be set up. Unlike traditional construction methods, these modified shipping containers are delivered ready to go, allowing them to be used almost instantly upon arrival.

2. Adaptable

Shipping containers are also very easy to modify and adapt, ensuring that they can be tailored to meet the ever-changing demands that follow a natural disaster. From residential accommodation to storage facilities and offices, emergency services can amend them as required.

3. Cost-effective

Alongside being rapid to install, modified shipping containers are also a very cost-effective solution. Compared to creating permanent structures, these units cost a fraction of the price and can be reused as required following each natural disaster.

4. Durable

Shipping containers are also created to be durable and withstand the elements. Additional modifications can further increase this durability, ensuring that they can withstand whatever weather conditions or disasters they might face.

Looking for modified shipping containers?

If you are looking for temporary portable accommodation or want to discover the benefits that modified shipping containers can bring, then Modulate Containers is here to help you.

For over 20 years, we have been proud to provide the very best modified units possible for our customers, from residential extensions to portable offices, and our highly experienced team is here to help you. We understand the importance of quality craftsmanship, and all of our finished units are tailor-made to meet your exact demands.

Want to find out more about how we can help you? Get in touch today!



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