Burning Man Shipping Container Dorms Supporting Burned Out City
Here in Australia we know a thing or two about wildfires – they are no joke and are one of the greatest natural threats we have to our property and lives. Could shipping container villages be set up to support people in their first few nights after surviving a blaze? A number of shipping container dormitories have been loaned by an organisation from the Burning Man Festival in Nevada to the authorities in Santa Rosa in California where 3,000 homes were lost in this autumn’s wildfire season.
Burning Man – not some sick joke
The Burning Man festival in Black Rock Desert of Nevada attracts approximate 70,000 people. It is one of the most important outdoor music festivals in the world. If you do Glastonbury in the UK as part of your bucket list, get out to the desert in Nevada as well as it will blow your mind. It might be described as a Glastonbury without the 5 metre ‘super fence’. Burning Man is indeed closer to the spirit of Glastonbury in the 1970’s than the over-priced pseudo-hippy, drug free shadow of its former self it is today.
Lee Merschon runs Camp Epic at Burning Man, and houses the attendees to his part of the festival in 40ft shipping containers. Up to 75 people can live in the seven shipping containers he is donating to Santa Rosa. Each room has a door the resident can lock and is a place of privacy. The décor is best described as psychedelic and those using the containers have to go out to a mobile washroom nearby, as well as use a communal cookhouse for food. But for festivals this is ideal as you’re not there for the quiet comfort but rather what is going on out on the Playa.
Santa Rosa fires
The 2017 wildfire season in Northern California was a nasty one. 14,700 homes were consumed by flames and 43 people lost their lives. Communities were gutted out by flames, with 1300 homes burned to ash in the Coffey Park neighbourhood in Santa Rosa alone. Santa Rosa as a city lost 3,000 homes, and 23 lives were lost in the Sonoma County where Santa Rosa is.
Rebuilding society as well as buildings
When a house is flattened you just have to rebuild it, housing the residents while you do so. When a community goes up in flames you have a real problem on your hands. You need to house the recently dispossessed and then move them onto better longer-term housing while they focus on rebuilding their lives. You need to rebuild that community that was lost when people fled.
Press Democrat reported, “The first 75 spots have already been filled with teachers, first responders and people in the medical field. “We’re focusing on prioritizing first teachers, firefighters, first responders and people who are critical to the infrastructure of Santa Rosa so we don’t have more challenges on the way because we’ve lost people who are integral to running the government and running emergency systems,”” Carmen Mauk, founder of Burners without Borders told the news organisation.
The refugees in question have their own spaces and can hide away from the world when they need to. They can lock their temporary homes and can also function, helping society function too, as they do their essential jobs.
The plan is to send the converted shipping containers back to Burning Man once they have served their purpose, or effectively loaned back to the festival for the week or so should there be continued need for the containers next summer.
Shipping Containers for emergency fire housing
At Gateway Gazette we occasionally touch on shipping container refugee accommodation as yet another way of repurposing shipping containers. It isn’t so often that we see them being used for something we see every year at home in Australia. While we know that shipping containers are not good to hide in during a fire, they could well be a solution for those who have a need of a roof for the night having just seen their worlds go up in smoke. As such this is a very good idea indeed, and something people at home should think about for home disaster relief operations.
If you are a municipal authority looking for emergency housing, why not contact our team of second hand shipping container experts at Gateway Container Sales and Hire for advice on which container will best suit your needs?