An East Patchogue manufacturer is helping to provide emergency housing for flood victims in Kentucky.
Hunter Homes and Shelters, which makes transportable energy-efficient shelters for emergency and longer-term use, is building several of its two-bedroom homes to people left homeless by devastating flooding.
More than 6,000 homes in Kentucky were deemed uninhabitable without repair and more than 300 homes were completely destroyed as a result of the flooding and mudslides, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The American Red Cross also reported that some 1,648 homes in Breathitt County alone were considered “majorly damaged” or destroyed as a result of the flooding.
The first of the homes from Hunter Homes and Shelters will be built next week in Jackson, Kentucky, one of the hardest hit communities in the state. The two-bedroom shelter homes usually sell for about $70,000 apiece, but the company is providing the two-bedroom units at a discount and donating the transportation and labor costs valued at more than $50,000.
Different from other temporary emergency shelters, Hunter Homes and Shelters’ units can be transported by one tractor trailer anywhere in the country. The structures are simple to assemble and can be constructed in a few hours by small teams using basic tools.
Jack Hunter, founder and president of Hunter Homes and Shelters said he saw what happened in Kentucky and wanted to help.
“We are building our units to show how they can be effectively used as part of a FEMA emergency response. Our shelters are easy to transport and can be built in a single day,” Hunter said in a company statement. “These homes are a much needed and cost-effective solution when shelters have to be built immediately in areas hit by disasters. They are durable and can be used in communities that are in the process of being rebuilt. We have seen the Kentucky disaster up close and we are committed to helping those whose homes and communities have been destroyed.”
The weatherproof shelters are designed to withstand hurricane force winds, tornadoes and blunt force impacts. Built with structural insulated panels, buildings can be constructed with solar panels and can exist off the grid or until power comes back online after disasters.
The shelters include a kitchen with a refrigerator, sink and stovetop, bathrooms equipped with a sink, shower and toilet, a bedroom and living area. Other amenities include LED lighting along with a heating and air conditioning unit.
Company executives are coordinating the delivery of new disaster housing units with local leaders including Judge Jeffrey Noble of Breathitt County; Jamie Mullins-Smith of the Kentucky River Regional Prevention Center; and Joanne Miller, a voluntary agency liaison with FEMA.