Despite rumors that started in 2007, so-called "FEMA coffins" are actually burial vaults awaiting sale to funeral homes. Others have been sold, but are in storage awaiting shipment.
The hoax emails and later Facebook posts that spread the rumor claimed the Obama administration had ordered what it termed "disposable coffins" for alleged Federal Emergency Management Agency detention centers in the event of a revolt of those detained at the centers. Both the circulating email and the social media post were usually accompanied by a photo of the purported coffins, which were described as "disposable" plastic coffins. Most posts described the number of coffins as over 500,000.
However, the containers were actually burial vaults, designed to protect coffins from moisture in the soil as well as to keep the ground above from sinking, and no more than 80,000 such vaults existed. In 2007, a number of blogs started propagating the conspiracy theory related to FEMA detention centers. The rumor soon took off via email and, as of 2015, continues to appear on Facebook from time to time.
In 2010, the burial vault manufacturer moved the containers from an open field in Georgia, presumably where they had been photographed, to a warehouse at its plant in another part of the state.