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Disaster Relief Housing

First Response Disaster Relief Housing: Age-Old Solution Meets Modern Technology & Spirited Innovation

At Absolute Steel, you have our respect, our shared commitment, and our ready support when assisting those in need with disaster relief housing.

Expanding upon our tubular steel building system – already in use throughout North America and around the globe – we have engineered a revolutionary new concept in disaster relief shelters. It is called Transitional Relief Housing.

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The Transitional Relief Housing Concept


The system’s purpose is twofold:

  • To provide a secure, low-cost, immediate response emergency relief shelter, and
  • To immediately transition into economical, practical permanent housing for survivors.

Above: A steel framed transitional relief shelter as initially deployed. The steel frame was assembled by two men in just over one hour. The canvas provides fast shelter.

Above: The same transitional housing frame has been made into a permanent home with the use of locally available material. This is the same frame system as seen in the rapidly deployed shelter on the left.

Rapid First Response Solution

Our system’s first-response solution is, at first glance, a tent. But really, it is a steel-framed structure using a temporary exterior.

Permanent exteriors are merely awaiting the application of indigenous materials or in some models, a permanent steel panel roof can be applied immediately, thereby making the eventual transition to permanent quicker for the residents.

The basic frame structure is engineered and in most cases is of higher structural integrity than what was destroyed in the disaster. All are stable and sturdy, yet easily erected in just a few hours. Even by the unskilled, using common tools.

Meeting the Delivery Challenge

Simplicity of set-up is a major advantage. But unless materials and tools can be delivered rapidly, even to remote and ravaged locations, that advantage is lost. But a transitional disaster relief structure from Absolute Steel is prepared for fast delivery.

  • All components of our emergency relief shelter system are packaged in compact, easily-transported bundles.
  • Each bundle contains a single, complete emergency relief housing unit.
  • The single-unit bundle is designed for high-density packing in standard shipping containers, for transfer to the disaster area.
  • Upon arrival, shipments are easily broken down into individual units, for transport to their final destinations.
  • From there, an individual kit can be transferred to the emergency site in the bed of a full-size pickup or a small trailer. This makes it easier and faster to get the housing right where it needs to be – no large equipment needed.
  • Then, each kit can be assembled by two people using basic tools.

Pictured Above: Our steel frame kits are easily stored for fast deployment. High-density packing requires minimal storage space.

Next Picture: A complete frame kit delivered on-site when needed.

Long-Term Relief

Once the most immediate and urgent needs have been met, attention can turn to the challenges of rebuilding.

But rather than tearing down and replacing their emergency relief shelters, survivors transition them into practical, comfortable new homes.

Tent or tarp fabric is replaced with steel panels – or wood, adobe or other locally-available materials. Improved flooring may be added, along with insulation, plumbing, power and other amenities, as circumstances allow.

None of the original work or materials go to waste.

Absolute Advantages

Warehousing & Transport

  • Interchangeable components = reduced manufacturing and inventory costs.
  • Compact packaging = maximum efficiency in storage, transport, distribution.
  • Design backed by years of shipping & logistics experience, both domestic and international.

Easy assembly

  • Simple, illustrated instructions included with each kit.
  • Color-coded, slip-together connections make assembly simple – even for those with no construction experience.
  • Can be erected by unskilled labor, using common tools.
  • No heavy equipment required.

Maximum economy

  • Tubular steel frame system = high strength, without the weight, cost and foundation requirements of conventional I-beam systems.
  • Low weight per unit = lower transport costs.
  • Frame design distributes weight evenly = minimal site preparation and foundation requirements.
  • Simple assembly = on-site labor costs minimized or eliminated.
  • Galvanized tubular steel = extreme durability, maintenance free.
  • Frame’s flexible strength = high resistance to repeated punishment (new storms, quakes, etc.).

Project Partnership

In addition to providing emergency and transitional relief shelters, we stand ready to partner with you – lending our expertise to ensure your project’s success. If desired, our participation can include:

  • Site Evaluation & Selection
  • Structural Engineering
  • On-site Installation Management & Training
  • Shipping Logistics – Domestic or International

We would be proud to join you in bringing real help and new hope to those who need it.

For more information or to initiate a project, contact us today:

By Phone

  • International: 011-480-768-1618, Extension 110
  • Within the United States: (480) 768-1618, Extension 110

FAX: 480-768-1514

By Mail

Absolute Steel Texas
9476 County Road 136
Terrell, Texas 75161

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Disaster Relief Housing : FAQs

Q: What are the advantages of Absolute Steel’s disaster relief housing?

A: The advantages are many. It really boils down to design and economics. Whereas most other disaster relief housing is designed to be temporary, Absolute Steel’s disaster relief housing kits are designed with the ability to transition into permanent low-cost housing for maximum area recovery.

In addition, disaster relief housing from Absolute Steel is designed for:

  • Maximum economy by having a low cost and long-term use.
  • Easy transport to stricken areas. Each unit can be hauled in a small trailer or full-size pickup truck.
  • Easy, fast set-up – even with minimal experience and skill, and using common tools.
  • Stable, reliable protection against the elements. The structures stand up to the harshest elements and weather.
  • Simple transition from emergency shelter to more permanent housing, using the same building frame.

Q: How easy is it to set up your disaster relief housing?

A: Remarkably easy.

  • Our emergency shelters are very simple to set up, even in difficult conditions.
  • They are designed for assembly by people with little or no prior experience or construction skill, following simple instructions.
  • They can be set up by hand, using only a few common tools. The frame sections are slip-fit and then secured with self-tapping screws. Easy.
  • Translated instructions are available.

Q: Will special tools or equipment be needed?

A: No. Only basic and easily-obtained tools are needed. You do not need forklifts, cranes, jacks, or anything like that. All you really need are basic power tools such as a drill.

Q: How will the housing be delivered?

A: Each complete kit is securely packaged on a shipping pallet. Carriers and routes will vary depending upon final destination.

The usual shipping method will be for multiple kits to be loaded into a shipping container [see picture], and the container transported by “best way freight” according to your specifications.

From there, individual kits (each kit is bundled individually) can be transported to the site via smaller trucks and/or trailers. For difficult access, one kit can be carried in the bed of a full size pickup truck or small flatbed trailer.

Q: Can your emergency shelters be converted to more permanent housing?

A: Yes. They are designed specifically for this purpose.

Our disaster relief shelters consist of a steel framework, covered with tough, water-resistant fabric. This allows for the easiest possible transport and quickest set-up – putting a roof over disaster victims’ heads, fast.


When the immediate crisis has passed, the fabric walls and roof can be replaced with sheet metal or indigenous materials.

This is why we often refer to these units as Transitional Disaster Relief Housing – because they transition from a quick shelter to a home.

Disaster Relief Housing : Steel Frame System

At the heart of every Absolute Steel disaster relief housing system is our internationally-known steel frame system.

Quality Steel and American Ingenuity

All steel used in Absolute Steel disaster relief housing must meet certain engineering specifications for alloy content, strength and durability. Rest assured that the steel we use comes from reputable companies. We also insist on receiving Material Test Sheets from our suppliers, verifying the quality of the steel before we use it in our kits.

Our standard steel building main frames are comprised of 2″x 3″ and 2″ x 4″ tubular steel. This is 14 or 15 gauge steel, depending on the load a particular piece may have to bear.

Just as an example, the steel in our roof peaks is rated at a yield strength of 65,000 ksi. That means the steel will withstand a pressure of more than 130,000 pounds per square inch before yielding. That’s the lowest rating we’ll accept. It can be a bit more expensive to do that at times, but we are talking about people’s lives and property.

Corrosion Resistance

To prevent rust and corrosion, our steel is given a galvanized (electronically bonded) protective coating. And, as a final safeguard, it receives a tough clear resin coating. In fact, our steel frames are so corrosion resistant that they’ve been chosen by every branch of the US armed forces, and you’ll even find them deep within the Ohio salt mines of Cargill Salt.

The Base of Your Kit: Built Strong

It’s just common sense that one of the most important parts of any building is its base. The whole structure rests on that base – literally! If your cabin’s base isn’t strong and secure, the whole building will not be strong and secure.

At Absolute Steel, we use a unique insert system in our housing kits’ base rails. This makes it an easier system to erect. With our system, two people can assemble walls and roof frames with ease.

Another important difference is our system for connecting base sections, used to achieve a building’s desired length. Other manufacturers crush, roll or bend portions of their base rails, so pieces can be slipped together. The process can significantly thin, stress and even fracture the steel at a critical point.

Rather than do anything that would compromise frame strength, we use a system of 14 gauge steel inserts to connect base rail sections. This means a small added step or two in our fabrication process, but it safeguards the integrity of the steel – and the strength of your cabin.

Here are a couple of the less obvious benefits:

  1. At the base of your cabin, where water can collect, we give you thick, unstressed and uniform connections. This goes a long way toward preventing rust and corrosion, right where they could do the most damage.
  2. You’ll always have a consistent fit. You won’t have to have a sledgehammer around, to pound stubborn parts together.

Housing Kit Sidewalls: Easier Assembly, Greater Strength

Now, what about what’s resting on your structure’s base? Here’s where our frame system gives you another big advantage. Just as with the base rails, most manufacturers crush, bend or roll components to connect base rails and sidewalls together.

At Absolute Steel, rather than damaging the metal, we once again use an insert system. This gives you solid, steady connections. The system even makes it easier to make small adjustments in sidewall height, with no loss of strength or stability.

A Better Connection

When lower back pain persists and continues to interfere with your quality of life, multiple treatment options may be needed for adequate relief. Below are some back pain treatments that are commonly overlooked or underused. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one, or combination, works best for you.

Get a visual explanation of the 6 overlooked low back pain remedies.
Video: 6 Overlooked Remedies for Lower Back Pain Relief

1. Release your inner endorphins

Endorphins are hormones made naturally in your body. What many people don’t know is that endorphins may help block pain signals from registering in your brain. Endorphins also help alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression, which are all associated with chronic back pain and often make the pain worse.

Certain activities may boost your endorphin levels, such as aerobic exercise, massage therapy, or meditation.

Watch Video: 4 Little-Known Natural Pain Relievers

2. Get enough restorative sleep

Pain is a leading cause of insomnia—difficulty with falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Inadequate sleep can also make your back pain worse. This vicious cycle makes it more difficult for you to get restorative sleep.

See Restorative Sleep Brings Back Pain Relief

Getting enough restorative sleep is needed for the body’s tissues to heal and recharge energy levels. If you have trouble sleeping, it is important to address pain or other factors that are causing it. Your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes, medications, or other treatments depending on what is disrupting your sleep.

3. Exercise your core

The muscles in your abs and back play a critical role in supporting your lower spine. These muscles don't get a good workout during the course of a normal day—they need to be specifically targeted through exercise.

See Exercise and Back Pain

There are many simple exercises that can be performed in 20 to 30 minutes as part of your daily routine. If you are just starting out, even the simple act of sitting upright on an exercise ball for 30 minutes a day will engage your core muscles.

See Back Exercises and Abdominal Exercise Recommendations

4. Engage your brain

Pain specialists have long understood that pain is more complicated than just a sensation. The way your brain interprets and processes pain signals plays an important role in how you perceive your pain.

The good news is that you can develop skills for your brain to reduce or ignore some pain signals. Some strategies to try include:

  • Mindful pain management. Practicing mindfulness and meditation, which typically involves slow, controlled breathing and focusing the mind, may help reduce the pain sensation. It can also help with relaxation. To get started with mindfulness and relaxation techniques, many free videos are available online.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy may help you to think about your pain differently or learn new strategies for managing it.

Developing expertise in mind-body techniques may go a long way to help you have some degree of influence over your pain.

5. Find activities that make you happy

Ongoing back pain can wreak havoc on your life, affecting your cherished relationships, finances, and your ability to get stuff done at work and at home. Finding activities that make you happy can help reduce some stress and may relieve some pain.

Some people find that even doing just 3 things that make them feel good each day—such as enjoying a comforting cup of tea or coffee, calling an old friend, walking the dog, or receiving a longish 30-second hug from a loved one—can make pain more tolerable.

Even something as simple as laughter with a friend may stimulate feel-good endorphins.1, 2

6. Stretch your hamstrings twice daily

One often overlooked contributor to lower back pain is tight hamstrings. If your hamstring muscles—located in the back of your thighs—are too tight hamstrings your lower back and sacroiliac joints will be stressed, leading to more pain. Hamstring stretching should be done carefully and at least twice per day for 15-30 seconds each time.

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There are many gentle stretching exercises that should not hurt.

See Specific Hamstring Stretches for Back Pain Relief

The wall hamstring stretch is another stretch option that's easy on the low back.
Wall Hamstring Stretch for Low Back Pain Relief Video

Bonus tip: Soothe the pain with cold and/or hot

Don't underestimate the pain reduction of simply applying cold packs and/or hot packs to help reduce your lower back pain.

  • Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain. Some examples include wrapping ice in a cloth, a pack of frozen peas from the freezer, or a cold gel pack. Always keep at least one layer between your skin and the ice/cold pack.
  • Heat therapy helps improve blood flow, relaxation, and pain relief. Heat therapy can come in many forms. It's best to try several to find what works best for you. Taking a warm bath or shower, soaking in a hot tub, or using a heating pad or heat wrap are all ways to bring warmth to your lower back.

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Whether applying ice or a heat pack, limit applications to 15 or 20 minutes with at least 2 hours of rest in between to protect your skin. Never sleep with a heating pad or frozen pack as this can lead to permanent skin damage.

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Hopefully these overlooked remedies can help you try some new approaches to better manage your lower back pain and find lasting relief.

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  • 1.Manninen S, Tuominen L, Dunbar RI et al. Social laughter triggers endogenous opioid release in humans. J Neurosci. 2017; 37(25):6125-6131. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0688-16.2017.
  • 2.Dunbar RI, Baron R, Frangou A et al. Social laughter correlated with an elevated pain threshold. Proc Biol Sci. 2012; 279(1731):1161-7. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1373.
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