LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - When disaster strikes, temporary housing is needed.
Following an EF3 tornado in the Pine Belt, a group on the Coast is moving forward with an effort to give people dealing with disasters quicker access to a more efficient temporary home.
"We're getting hit continually by Mother Nature with disasters and the need seems to constantly be there for us to have housing not just available, but also safe and secure," said Joey Robinson.
Robinson is part of a team designing what they call "Castle Enclosures". They've build a prototype in Long Beach. Robinson says the concrete structures are just as portable as the traditional FEMA trailers, but more secure.
"You can sit there and sustain winds of 200 miles, deal with F-5 tornadoes, it can burn for roughly two hours without damage," Robinson said. "In terms of comparing that to models we currently see in production, sustainability is much better."
After Hurricane Katrina, residents in temporary trailers complained of health issues; including breathing problems and headaches as a result of formaldehyde. Robinson says chemicals like formaldehyde aren't needed in construction of units like the enclosures.
Robinson and his partners are preparing to make a pitch to government agencies with the hope that they can help with the demand of temporary housing before the next disaster.
"What we're trying to do here is get ahead of the issue and have units available on hand at a much better cost, and also that last a lot longer so that the state can save money when it comes to dealing with disasters," Robinson said.
Durability is one of the biggest selling points. The units could have a lifespan of 50 years and could easily be reused.
Robinson added if it all goes well, his company plans to build and store the units in South Mississippi, where they could be deployed anywhere in the Gulf South in the event of a natural disaster.
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