Designs for disaster relief range from ultra-temporary tents to long-term trailers, but few take aim at the space left in between. That is where the Life Cube comes in, supplying essential materials for short-term survival and providing a (literal) foundation for longer living if necessary. Not in distress? For a few thousand dollars, it would also double as a great luxury camping tent alternative.

First, the sturdy sides, top and bottom of the main 4-by-4-foot box itself fold out and latch together to lift the bottom of the abode off the ground – this little foundation makes the structure feel slightly more permanent, keeping potential pests, water and wind problems at bay. It also forms a semi-sizable (144 square feet) base.

Next, the inflatable habitat expands and ties down to this core platform. The exterior is made from fire-resistant, tear-proof material used in NAVY life rafts. The interior comes complete with a blog-up furniture set: couch for sitting and bed for sleeping, neither of which take up any significant space when deflated. There are even zip-up flaps inside that let you divide spaces to create separate living, working and sleeping areas if you want to.

Finally, the essentials for short-term survival are boxed inside as well: free-dried foods, a drinkable water supply, first-aid kit, radio and stove. Options include: a low-level solar power system, lighting and electrical pump.?Not only does the crate itself become part of the final shelter but each tiny bit of space inside is utilized as well, making it easy to transport and deploy as many as needed (or stick one in the back of your sports utility vehicle). Need to move overland? No worries – a set of round metal ‘wheels’ will let you pack up and roll out in no time.