NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Could post-disaster prefab apartment units really be easier to assemble than Legos?

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Wednesday, New York City is leading the drive to be ready in case of another housing emergency like the one that followed Superstorm Sandy.

And while Rome was not built in a day, the prototype structure for emergency housing was.

“I wish we had them for Sandy and you know, for the next big one, I hope we have them ready,” said city Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Bruno.

The urban post-disaster housing prototype was erected overnight in Brooklyn Heights recently. It was assembled in seven easy pre-fab pieces, officials said.

The project is dear to Commissioner Bruno’s heart.

“So if New York City needs a 1,000; 5,000; 10,000 units somewhere down the road in a bigger disaster, we will be able to get them,” Bruno said.

The units may look like tin can cargo containers, but they can be shipped and assembled quickly — and one may argue they sure beat trailers.

The units feature real kitchens and bathrooms, a small living room with a pull-out couch, and bedrooms of a size not unusual by New York standards. The prototype holds three apartments.

Passersby were curious Wednesday.

“I would be curious,” said Dinah Renno of Brooklyn. “If they had an open house, I probably would do a little walk-through.”

“Anything to help out the people that lost their homes is excellent, so I’m for it,” added Antonio Galvan of Texas.

Bruno said the post-disaster housing is structurally solid and built to last.

“Once we build these units, we’re not going to want to throw them away,” Bruno said. “Many of them could become actual permanent or longer-term housing.”

The OEM said it will soon announce visiting hours for the public to take a look inside the post-disaster housing prototype.

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