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Shipping container is your new disaster-zone home

The EDV-01 quickly converts to a two-story structure that can shelter two people comfortably for a month.

The EDV-01 shelter is designed to be rugged and easily transportable. Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

Forget the zombie apocalypse for a moment. What if a real disaster struck your neighborhood? Where would you, or relief workers, take shelter?

As thousands of Japanese are still coping with the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku quake and tsunami, Osaka-based Daiwa Lease recently showed off this shipping container, a home for disaster zones.

The EVD-01 Emergency Disaster Vehicle was announced last year with an action film-style video of computer graphics, but the video below from a housing trade show in Tokyo shows the real prototype.

It's the size of a standard 20-foot shipping container and can be transported by land, sea, and air with relative ease.

It has retractable outer walls that can be raised in minutes, creating a second floor for living quarters. It comes with water, communications, and electricity supplies, allowing two people to live in it for a month without resupplies.

There are solar panels on the roof, as well as hydrogen fuel cells and a dry composting toilet on the first floor.

The vid shows a slick, chrome-lined interior that could be mistaken for a small design studio in Tokyo; indeed it was a 2011 Good Design award winner.

Daiwa Lease is part of the Daiwa House group, which erected over 11,000 temporary housing units in the wake of the Tohoku disaster. Japan's largest home builder also backed the HAL robotic power suit for elderly and disabled people.

Daiwa Lease has no plans to market the EDV-01 yet, and wants to halve its size to make it more viable.

The smaller container would still be swishy and high-tech, however. After all, who would want to live in a far more practical but low-tech shelter like a tent?

(Via DigInfo News)