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Guardians of the Republic Forums Community Preparedness Teams (CPTs) General Preparedness and CPT Skills I can build & teach how to build small portable housing after emergency shelters

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    I opened a small construction business in Austin, Texas in 1997. First I was a subcontractor then contractor directly for the home builders.
    I got tired of getting paid late so I moved to strictly working to remodel, repairs and new construction directly with residential customers directly.
    Hurrah! Much better and fascinating to see weird things behind siding/drywall.

    However, as a small contractor, sometimes work briefly dries up.
    For a few years, I found such an excellent man to work with that we worked just together and brought in extra help whenever larger jobs came up.
    I was very lucky in finding a company that built excellent portable buildings, up to 12′ x 20′.
    They always had buildings we could do for a fixed price on their site. I also used the knowledge to build similar buildings for my own company on-site when that was requested.

    One of the most important is to build both a strong and sturdy enough floor (simple but not at all obvious) and connection to the walls that enabled the buildings to be quickly loaded onto a tilting hydraulic trailer for delivery to the home, work site, etc. And I do mean quick! For example, we lived in these buildings that I built for living purposes including a full bath and kitchen, closet and living room, bed area. A 12′ x 20′ makes a very nice efficiency.
    Any building that sits on 4″ x 4″ skids is just unacceptable even for a garden shed. This method of building is what I consider a little bit of theft.

    An 8′ x 10′ building requires very little material and is sufficient for a twin bed plus a little space for something like a TV, microwave, etc, but nothing like a kitchen or bathroom. Two adults and a few kids can live in this if some sort of bathroom area is available. A full shower can be accomplished with five 1 gallon water containers. Privacy can be nothing more than showering while wearing underwear or shorts. I did this many times while travelling, so I can guarantee it. Filling the jugs and left in the sun for a little while is enough to heat the water in many places to be comfortable.
    Anything bigger than 12′ x 20′ is too large for quick and easy transportation.
    Any size can be built on the spot with the materials brought in. Should these need to be built before electric is restored and if generators are in use elsewhere, all of the work can be done by hand (sweat and blisters may be required).

    My only experience with disaster relief was also my start for remodelling.
    About a year after a major flood in Austin, I was brought in by a group of churches and the Red Cross to fix major damage to houses and mobile homes for people that could not afford the repairs themselves. This was a very satisfying experience!

    Right now, I am with my dad in Western Washington State. Honestly, we both want to return to Texas. In Austin, I have a storage room filled with all of the tools necessary to build from a small tree covered area to a finished building. I have all the tools for electrical, plumbing and air conditioning work too.

    Technically, I am still in business, but since I am no longer doing any work except selling sawhorse plans online, the IRS sees me as being at a loss and no longer a business.

    I also have almost completed DIY plans to sell online for how to build portable buildings. Thus much of the work of teaching is close to being done anyway. But it is far easier to teach a person or group in person than with online plans only. Especially how to nail by hand correctly!

    You can look at some photos and info at:

    Note in one photo that insulation is already placed between the studs in a wall.
    If and only if, all of that is behind clear plastic that prevents fiberglass from getting into the air. Other materials can be used, but MUST be fairly airtight. Corners can be bent, but only if done properly! This room we did live in before adding drywall later.

    I haven’t been on the scene of any major disasters, but I do see that once the emergency shelters are closed and the major players leave; those without any insurance, funds and their housing destroyed are going to need something better than camping out in a tent on their property for years.
    I am guessing that something better than a tent might be needed during the very first efforts after the disaster by the relief workers. Some pickup trucks with lumber make some buildings quickly go up during the first stages vs. hauling in those jobsite buildings on wheels. Humans are very good at carrying lumber deeper into areas blocked by debris or with the roads gone.

    Would this be useful and compatible with how Oath Keepers does things and the resources available?

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