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How Fabric Structures for Disaster Recovery Shape Your Community’s Response

Disasters do not wait to strike at opportune times or places. Instead, they interrupt the daily lives of those caught in the devastating path — causing trauma to both people and the structures they rely on for safety.

Alaska Structures® supports government agencies, businesses, first responders, and organizations by providing rapidly deployable fabric buildings and turnkey camp systems for small to large-scale disaster response and recovery efforts.

Our tensioned fabric buildings are custom-designed for many uses and applications, including emergency housing, modular classrooms, medical shelters and field hospitals, military shelters, temporary fire stations, and more.

How Fabric Buildings Can Help With Natural Disaster and Emergency Relief

By design, fabric buildings from Alaska Structures are quick to assemble, deconstruct, and transport. The versatile abilities of these fabric buildings — the ability to use on a moment’s notice and move as needed — make them the top choice for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.

Medical Shelters for Disaster Response and Recovery

Rapidly deployable medical shelters are critical to disaster response and recovery efforts. BLU-MED Response Systems® (a division of Alaska Structures) manufactures deployable medical facilities designed to provide a clean and safe space for life-saving care… when and where needed™.

In response to disasters, BLU-MED medical shelters can quickly be scaled to meet the needs of any small or large-scale disaster. Medical shelters and field hospitals from BLU-MED are custom-designed solutions and can include stand-alone and fully-equipped packages for:

  • Hospital Surge Facilities
    Trauma, ER, OR, ICU, Scalable Ward Space
  • Triage and Isolation Facilities
    Including Negative Pressure Isolation Rooms for COVID-19 patients
  • Immunization and Drug Distribution
  • Ancillary Clinical Support
    Oxygen Delivery Systems, X-Ray, Lab, Pharmacy

The functionality and quick assembly of BLU-MED medical shelters help medical professionals and disaster response teams to save lives when access to local hospitals is difficult or no longer available.

In addition to disaster response, Alaska Structures are also a go-to for COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites. Heavy-duty outdoor structures can be easily configured  for drive-through or walk-up testing sites or vaccination clinics.

[Related: How to Open a Safe Drive-Through Vaccination Clinic for COVID-19]

Multi-Purpose Fabric Buildings Help Fight Wildfires

Firefighters put their lives on the line every time a wildfire breaks out.

To keep these heroes and their equipment safe, fabric buildings from Alaska Structures provide a fast and safe multi-purpose building solution to assist with the many aspects of fighting wildfires, including fire station buildings, spaces for community education classes, administrative offices, firefighter training facilities, equipment and vehicle storage, vehicle maintenance facilities, mobile kitchens, bathrooms, trailer-mounted systems and temporary camps for hot shot crews, and hazardous materials storage facilities.

[Related: Structures for Fighting and Responding to Wildfires]

Emergency Housing With Restroom Facilities

Although fires and other disasters may rage on, the people on the ground must take breaks to remain healthy and productive. Refugees and emergency responders both need safe places to rest, regroup, and recuperate.

Those seeking refuge can stay comfortable while they await transportation or remain in short- or long-term care during recovery or processing efforts. Modular housing solutions from Alaska Structures are customizable to provide basic to hotel-like accommodations. Emergency housing can be designed to provide single family accommodations or separate and safe spaces for men, women and children.

Emergency and refugee housing from Alaska Structures can also be configured with private or shared restroom and hygiene facilities. Having immediate access to hygiene facilities is not only a necessity, but a morale booster in the wake of a disaster or during emergency situations.

[Related: Fabric Structures for Improving Refugee and Immigration Housing]

Modular Classrooms Keep Students in School After a Disaster

When school buildings and classrooms are no longer viable or safe to educate students, it can be hard for young children to adapt to a new routine that doesn’t include attending school and socializing with same-age peers and friends. When disasters strike school buildings, it may take months or years for school repairs to be completed before students are allowed to return to school. This not only delays education, but has many other impacts, including increasing the number of dropouts.

To keep students on track and in the classroom, Alaska Structures products are ready. When the Super Typhoon Yutu impacted the Northern Mariana Island, school buildings were among the devastated buildings. Within one week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ordered 66 fabric structures. Alaska Structures is able to customize each structure to meet FEMA’s specifications, including:

  • Ability to withstand wind gusts reaching 125 mph
  • Rainproofing and weatherproofing
  • Lightweight aluminum frame system
  • Ability to add power
  • Inclusion of cooling systems (using the Alaska ECU™ — a military grade HVAC system)
  • Ability to meet ADA requirements or be modified to meet all special needs or accessibility requirements

During the bid process, FEMA noted, “There are no other facilities available to meet this need.” The Interim Education Commissioner, Glenn Muna, praised the structures’ versatility and the ability to use them to meet other needs down the road.

This short-term solution for keeping students in the classroom has left the area with additional resources to use at any time and place. And it’ll serve them for decades to come.

[Related: The Best School Buildings for Modular Classrooms]

Fabric Buildings Designed for Protection from Extreme Elements

No matter what a disaster brings, fabric buildings from Alaska Structures are designed to provide rapid access to facilities and to withstand extreme elements.

Whether winter storms laying down blankets of snow or a desert in extreme heat with high winds, fabric buildings from Alaska Structures have been tested and proven worldwide.

The patented membrane of the fabrics provides a weatherproof barrier to protect people and equipment from the harsh conditions outside. High-strength frame systems offer rugged durability against gusting and high-speed winds. All fabric buildings from Alaska Structures can be insulated to increase interior comfort and energy efficiency to allow for heating or cooling, depending on the exterior temperatures.

Benefits of Fabric Buildings for Emergency Response

Fabric buildings offer many benefits, making them ideal for building solutions used for disaster and emergency response, including the following:

  • Custom-built structures designed to meet your building requirement. Choose from a large selection of building models, doors, windows, lighting and electrical systems, and modular flooring systems.
  • Engineered to meet specific wind and snow loads
  • Low cube for fast shipping and transport to areas of need
  • Minimal foundation and tool requirements needed for setup
  • Rapid setup and take-down (Alaska XPL Series can be set up in less than 10 minutes!)
  • Safe, weatherproof shelter system for short- and long-term use
  • Fabric will not rot, is mold- and mildew-resistant, and UV-stabilized for areas with high solar loads
  • Privacy curtains and partitions
  • Optional insulation and HVAC systems for extreme hot or cold climates
  • Easily stores for the next disaster or emergency situation in one- or two-person carry bags or rotomold containers

For more information about fabric buildings used for disaster and emergency response, please contact Alaska Structures today by requesting a quote here. For immediate requirements, please call us at +1-907-344-1565.

Alaska Structures
Alaska Structures® is the world's leading provider of engineered fabric building and turnkey camp systems. Our modular buildings are proudly made in the U.S. and designed to meet area-specific wind and snow loads required by local codes or the International Building Code (IBC) for safety. No other fabric-building provider comes close to matching our level of expertise or experience.

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