Disaster Relief Housing, In Case of Next ‘Superstorm’

Exterior Of The Prefabricated Relief Housing Units. Image Courtesy of GOTHAMIST / JAKE DOBKIN

With memories of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina carved into the minds of many Americans, it’s kind of a “no-duh” assumption that temporary, post-disaster relief housing is needed and absolutely necessary. A collaboration between New York City’s Office of Emergency Management and Garrison Architects has resulted in the development of a system of modular, prefabricated housing meant to relieve any displaced citizens during the next hurricane, flood, and other natural disaster. The units  — like the prototype set on display in Brooklyn — measure at roughly 40′ by 100′ long, contain a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and storage spaces, and are able to be set into the smaller nooks and crannies of any city.

The OEM calls this“Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype Program,” as a prefabricated “multi-story, multi-family interim housing solution that will work in urban areas across the country.” The current prototype in Brooklyn is going to be tested in the coming months by city officials and local universities. Within the next few weeks, a gallery will opened inside the house, explaining the project’s development process to the public.

Inside one of the units. (Gothamist / Jake Dobkin)Garrison is not new to designing these type of resilient, modular projects for New York City, since they designed and showcased 35 prefabricated lifeguard stands and bathrooms along Rockaway Beach last summer (however some of the units quickly started rusting and leaking and two of the stations have been covered, locked behind fence, and guarded around-the-clock) Silver lining is that a spokesperson from the Parks Department said the bathrooms will be reinstalled later this year.

The kitchen. (Gothamist / Jake Dobkin)

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