Our 3 R’s: Resist, Recover, Respond

Our 3 R’s: Respond, Recover, Resist


Tornadoes strike with minimal warning and cannot yet be prevented, but ShelteR3 will be able to counter the storms through the cycle of Resistance, Response, and Recovery.

Extreme winds and flying debris destroy properties and end lives in the event of a tornado. The debris from collapsed structures creates a cloud of destruction; smashing through roofs, walls, and windows, allowing high speed winds to gush into structures and inflate the interiors with tremendous pressure. This pressure, along with the strong uplift caused by winds above the houses, will tear roofs from their structures. The windward walls cave in and the interior walls blow out, resulting in a complete collapse. The wrecked parts of the houses thereby create a domino effect, bringing destruction upon yet more structures in the path of the tornado.

ShelteR3 is designed to withstand those extreme wind loads. The exterior cladding of the walls resist the impact of debris, preventing the openings that would allow wind pressure to enter the house. The roof of ShelteR3 is flat and allows the horizontal high-speed winds carrying debris to fly over without severe damage. Our home does not have eaves and other overhangs because they have been shown to assist the high-speed winds in pulling off roofs. Additionally, the steel chassis of ShelteR3 provides an additional layer of stability via threaded rods, also made from steel, which anchor the roof to the foundation. In the case of repeated impact in the same location of our enveloping fence, an additional layer of Lexan polycarbonate lies within our walls. ShelteR3 protects itself by resisting the impact of debris and reducing the risk to surrounding buildings by ensuring that its structure does not add to the debris cloud.

The aftermath of tornadoes can instill a widespread helplessness in the affected community. Miles of wreckage and an absence of electricity and water can indeed be intimidating; however, ShelteR3 is designed to assist the early response systems such as FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in every way. The entire house can be transported to the target location in two modules. These modules can then be easily joined together to form either basic housing, or a disaster response command center complete with all necessary amenities. One of the modules contains the kitchen and the bathroom while the other consists of two bedrooms or meeting rooms depending on the need. Additionally, since ShelteR3 does not depend on the grid to meet its electricity needs, it can provide adequate lighting and heating or cooling to the residents even if power is unavailable in the surrounding areas.

Unlike a temporary refuge for tornado victims, ShelteR3 is designed to pave the way for recovery by providing the option of expansion into a long-term residence. Conventional disaster relief centers provide only a short term solution. Once the affected region is rebuilt, the temporary structures end up in landfill sites which is a less than optimal solution for our environment. The permanence of ShelteR3 eliminates this disposal problem. Once the area is cleared, the modules of ShelteR3 can be slid apart with a comfortable living room placed in the center to form a durable house. The roof-top solar panels can then serve as a reliable and independent power source. Built with every aspect of sustainability in mind, ShelteR3 will be ready to serve as a permanent home.