Title:
Self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter includes a first module, a second module and an air purification system. The first module defines a first temporary living space. The second module defines a second temporary living space. The air purification system is in fluid communication with the first temporary living space and provides a source of filtered air to the first temporary living space. The second module is in fluid communication with the first module such that the source of filtered air passes from the first temporary living space to the second temporary living space. The air purification system generates a positive airflow through the first and second temporary living spaces.



Inventors:
Levy, Robert (West Bloomfield, MI, US)
Peraza, Manny (Flat Rock, MI, US)
Application Number:
10/274844
Publication Date:
04/22/2004
Filing Date:
10/21/2002
Assignee:
LEVY ROBERT
PERAZA MANNY
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H15/14; (IPC1-7): E04H15/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CANFIELD, ROBERT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS DICKEY (TROY) (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter, the shelter comprising: a first module defining a first temporary living space; an air purification system in fluid communication with the first temporary living space, the air purification system for providing a source of filtered air to the first temporary living space; a second module defining a second temporary living space, the second module being in fluid communication with the first module such that the source of filtered air passes from the first temporary living space to the second temporary living space; whereby the air purification system generates a positive airflow through the first and second temporary living spaces.

2. The self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter of claim 1, wherein the first module includes at least one air release valve permitting the source of filtered air to pass from the first temporary living space to the second temporary living space.

3. The self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter of claim 2, wherein the second module includes at least one air release valve permitting the source of filtered air to exit the second temporary living space.

4. The self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter of claim 1, wherein the first module is connected to the second module through a zipper.

5. The self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter of claim 1, wherein the first and second modules cooperate to define a passageway for permitting an occupant to directly pass from the first temporary living space to the second temporary living space.

6. The self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter of claim 5, further comprising a closure panel for selectively closing the passageway between the first temporary living space and the second temporary living space.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention generally relates to the protection against chemical, germicidal and nuclear weapons. More particularly, the present invention relates to a self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Chemical and germicidal agents have seldom been dispersed in aerosol form, the exposure mode most likely to inflict widespread disease. Therefore, historical experience provides little information about the potential impact of a biological attack or the possible efficacy of post-attack measures such as vaccination, antibiotic therapy, or quarantine. The possibility of a terrorist attack using chemical or germicidal weapons is especially difficult to predict, detect, and prevent.

[0003] The potential risk presented by chemical and germicidal agents was demonstrated by an accidental aerosolized release of anthrax spores from a military microbiology facility in Sverdlovsk in the former Soviet Union in 1979. This event resulted in at least 79 cases of anthrax infection and 68 deaths. An anthrax aerosol would be odorless and invisible following release and would have the potential to travel many kilometers before disseminating. Evidence suggests that following an outdoor aerosol release, persons indoors could be exposed to a similar threat as those outdoors.

[0004] Because of the above discussed factors, chemical and germicidal attacks are among the most feared terrorist scenarios. The civilian populations of countries such as Israel and more recently the United States have sought various solutions for protection against attacks. Most commonly, the civilian population has purchased gas masks for emergency use. While gas masks may potential filter certain chemicals and germicides from the air, their benefits are severely limited. For example, it is very difficult to obtain a proper fit for a gas mask that would be suitable to filter an air source that has been contaminated from chemical, germicidal or nuclear attack. Additionally, the general civilian public is not suitably trained for proper gas mask use. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, many known chemicals and germicides can be lethal if absorbed through the skin.

[0005] Accordingly, it remains a need in the art to provide a temporary shelter for the protection against a chemical, germicidal or nuclear terrorist attack.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] In general, the present invention relates to the protection against chemical, germicidal and nuclear weapons. More particularly, the present invention relates to a self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter.

[0007] In one embodiment, the self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter of the present invention includes a PVC casing that is supported by PVC tubing. The shelter further includes an air purification system having a filtration media to filter out chemical agents, a hepa filter to trap microscopic particles, and a UV germicidal filtration unit to filter out and kill pathogens. The unit is powered by AC/DC or alternate power sources, including but not limited to batteries, natural gas and combustible fuels.

[0008] A potential advantage of the present invention is the provision of a self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter that provides personal protection against chemical, biological and nuclear agents.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a simplified perspective view of a self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter constructed in accordance with the teachings of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0011] The following description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

[0012] Referring to the simplified perspective view of FIG. 1, a self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter constructed in accordance with the teachings of the preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown and generally identified at reference number 10. In the particular embodiment illustrated, the self-contained and ventilated temporary shelter is shown to be of module construction and include a first module 12 and a second module 14. However, it will become apparent below that the teachings of the present invention are not limited to any particular number of modules. Explaining further, the subject invention may alternatively include one module or three or more modules.

[0013] The first module 12 defines a first temporary living space 16. The first temporary living space 16 is particularly defined by a clear PVC casing 18 that is supported by a plurality of PVC tubes 20. The casing 18 is hermitically sealed in a manner well known in the art and is shown in the preferred embodiment to include four walls, a roof and a floor. The second module 14 is substantially identically constructed to define a second temporary living space 19 and need not be separately described in detail.

[0014] The present invention further includes an air purification system 22. The air purification system 22 is in fluid communication with the first temporary living space 16 through an air filter connector 24. The air purification system 22 provides a source of filtered air to the first temporary living space 16. In the preferred embodiment, the air purification system 22 includes a filtration media to filter out chemical agents, a hepa filter to trap microscopic particles, and a UV germicidal filtration unit to filter out and kill pathogens. Insofar as the present invention is concerned, the filtration media, the hepa filter, and the germicidal filtration unit are conventional in construction and operation. The air purification system 22 is powered by AC/DC or an alternate power sources, including but not limited to batteries, natural gas and combustible fuels.

[0015] The first module 12 is shown secured to the second module 14. The first module includes a plurality of air release valves 26 permitting the source of filtered air to pass from the first temporary living space 16 to the second temporary living space 19. The second module 14 includes a plurality of air release valves 28 permitting the source of filtered air to exit the second temporary living space 19. Significantly, the air purification system 22 operates to generate a positive airflow through the first and second temporary living spaces 16 and 19. The positive air flow functions to prevent chemical, germicidal and nuclear agents from entering the living spaces 16 and 19 despite small tears or holes that may be in the casing 18.

[0016] While other forms of fastening may be used, the first and second modules 12 and 14 are illustrated secured to one another through a zipper 30. The zipper 30 completely surrounds the shelter 10. In a conventional manner, cooperating sets of zipper teeth are carried by both of the first and second modules 12 and 14. The zipper teeth have tight tolerances such that the positive airflow through the shelter 10 prevents unwanted agents from passing through the zipper. In a similar manner, additional modules can be added to the shelter 10.

[0017] The first and second modules 12 and 14 are shown to cooperate to define a passageway for permitting an occupant to directly pass between the first temporary living space 16 and the second temporary living space 19. A closure panel 32 is provided for selectively closing the passageway between the first temporary living space 16 and the second temporary living space 19. The closure panel 32 is secured to the casing 18 with a zipper 34. In one application, the closure panel 32 has a width of approximately four feet and a height of approximately four feet. Similar closure panels 32 are provided on opposing walls of both of the first and second modules 12 and 14 to provide for entry and exit.

[0018] In one particular application, the first module 12 has a height of approximately six feet, a width of approximately eight feet and a length of approximately ten feet. In this particular application, the second module 14 has substantially identical dimensions. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the particular dimensions of the modules 12 and 14 of the subject invention are not critical and may be readily modified.

[0019] In use, the shelter 10 is maintained in an area of a home (such as a basement) in a ready to use condition (as shown in FIG. 1). In the event of a chemical, germicidal or nuclear attack, the members of the household would immediately proceed to the shelter 10. The shelter 10 would be equipped with essential items to maintain occupant comfort for approximately 72 hours. Such items may include a portable toilet, food rations, a telephone, a radio, a television, and sleeping bags. The clear PVC of the casing 18 allows for viewing therethrough such that a television could be positioned outside the shelter 12 with a remote control within the shelter. The occupants would remain within the shelter 10 until an “all clear” signal is received.

[0020] In the event that a member of the house is delayed in entering the shelter (e.g., due to a commute) the original shelter occupants can seal themselves within the first temporary living area 16. When the delayed member arrives, he or she can be sealed within the second temporary living area 19. In this manner, the occupants of the first temporary living area 16 can be protected against any possible contamination of the occupant of the second temporary living area 19. The second temporary living area 19 will receive the source of purified air from the system 22, but the generated positive airflow will prevent any unwanted agents from passing from the second temporary living area 19 to the first temporary living area 16.

[0021] The description of the present invention is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the present invention are intended to be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.