The portable storage containers that we build are intended to provide temporary relief to homeowners waiting to have their homes restored and needing a place to store personal items. In some cases the storage units have been adapted by the homeowners as temporary laundry rooms to house a washer and dryer for homeowners living in an RV next to their home.
The portable storage containers are 6 feet wide and 8 feet long secured to 2 skids which allows the storage units to be relocated easily. They are equipped with a hasp on the door and a padlock which provides for some security. The storage containers major parts; front and back walls, framing and metal roof and sides are fastened together using screws which allows for the storage units to be dismantled and stored for future use in another disaster.
How Storage Containers Are Distributed
Pathfinder and relief organizations, partnered and approved by Pathfinder Mission, will receive requests from homeowners. A determination will be made as to the qualification of the homeowner.
Some organizations intend to “lend” the storage containers to homeowners until they can move back into their homes and then disassemble and store the storage units for the next time they are needed or provide them to other homeowners for the same purpose.
When people face the loss of their home, as they have from the recent hurricanes in Florida, they try to save whatever they can of their possessions that survived the storm. The problem is, what to do with it once they find it. Providing small storage containers for them to store what they can is a wonderful way to provide a relatively secure place. It isn't a perfect solution, but it is adequate for the immediate need.
How it Started in Waveland, Mississippi
In December 2005, a local resident came to a volunteer camp in Waveland, MS I was running to ask for help. She told me that she had watched as 8 dump trucks hauled her home away. Now she has an empty lot and a trailer, but no place to store her belongings. She asked if we could help her build a storage container. After she left I discussed the request with our team and the fact that anyone with a FEMA trailer would have the same problem. We agreed that we needed to do something to help. A volunteer in Pearlington, MS was already building storage containers so we visited him, modified his design slightly and opened the application process.
We had no idea that building storage containers would have such a powerful impact on the lives of so many people, residents and volunteers alike.
We built and delivered hundreds of sheds while we were in Mississippi.
Hurricane Ian was a large and destructive Category 4 Atlantic hurricane that was the deadliest hurricane to strike the state of Florida since the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. Ian caused widespread damage across western Cuba and the southeast United States, especially the states of Florida and South Carolina. It was the ninth named storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
Ian caused catastrophic damage with losses estimated to be over $50 billion. Much of the damage was from flooding brought about by a storm surge of 10–15 ft (3.0–4.6 m). The cities of Fort Myers Beach and Naples were particularly hard hit. Millions were left without power in the storm's wake, and numerous inhabitants were forced to take refuge on their roofs. Sanibel Island and Pine Island were hardest hit by the storm surge, which destroyed numerous structures and damaged both the Sanibel Causeway and the bridge to Pine Island. (Wikipedia)
Forging Strategic Partnerships : The Lord initially led us to Fort Myers to partner with Inspiritus at the request of their Director for Disaster Relief. During our initial trip to Florida we met and partnered with Anthem Church, Adventures in Missions (AIM) [that is Chris, the local director, above, with Martie and me], and the Greater Pine Island Alliance. Since that time we have developed relationships with a number of other churches and faith-based organizations.
Types of Work : It appears that we will reconstitute the storage container work that we began in Waveland. It is early so we really have no idea how many storage containers we will build so we are starting with an initial target of 100. To date we have 43 storage container requests from Pine Island. How many will we build? The simple answer is "As many as the Lord will allow and provide for". Eventually I expect that we will be rebuilding homes to a sanitary, safe and secure condition. When and where? - God knows.
Fund Raising : Our ministry has always been about helping those who cannot get help but have a legitimate need for help. Most often that help is in the form of materials and labor. In nearly every case the people do not receive enough money to pay for labor and materials. We cannot help everyone, but we will help those that the Lord provides resources for. Knowing who they are requires discernment and much prayer. Determining who will receive the sheds is the responsibility of our Disaster Relief partners.