It’s morning, right? I’m starting to feel like I haven’t slept in weeks…
As you all know, (unless you’ve been living under rocks) that on January 12th, an earthquake rocked Port Au Prince Haiti.
There are hundreds of thousands dead.
There are hundreds of thousands of people injured and ill, as wounds, infection and disease starts to incubate at epidemic proportions.
There are a million homeless.
I usually use a lot of photographs to illustrate my posts. I’m not going to this time. Use your imagination… scattered amongst the rubble are legions of dead bodies, some that even had the luxury of being covered up by something.
I’ve read reports of people stealing the blankets off the dead, to use to stay warm. It’s a horror story.
It’s grim, and right now, in spite of all the things we see on cable news programs, in spite of the hard work of the people already on the ground there trying to help, it’s still pretty disorganized and chaotic. The only usable airport is a complete mess.
Last week, I was contacted by a group (including Ph.D.’s, scientists, engineers, corporate leaders and people who spearheaded Project Africa) working under the Clinton Bush Initiative, to design, develop, and construct “Empowerment Centers” that would provide much needed services to the Haitian people as they begin to rebuild their infrastructure.
These “Empowerment Center” structures are to be built out of Corten Steel ISBUs, one of the few building materials that Haiti has, in abundance right now.
Remember that empty ISBUs are in EVERY shipping port in the world.
These “Empowerment Centers” would provide much needed medical services, serve as triage hospitals, educational centers, and even as shelters for children who have become orphans. I was recently told that 80% of the Haitian population is under 18 years old. I haven’t seen statistics yet to “prove” that, but if it’s accurate… just imagine how many orphans there are, now. These EC’s would also serve as securable distribution centers for food and water. And, they’d also serve as “communications posts” as well, insuring that a network could be established to accurately define and forecast Humanitarian needs from area to area.
As these “corporations” try to get vetted (read – so that they can pave a way to the moneys raised by Clinton-Bush and others, and THEN try to build programs to help), people are dying. As they try to navigate funding programs so that they can begin making a difference, people are still suffering.
These programs are using timeframes like “10 months from now, they’ll get the first facility.”
So, here’s what I’m asking;
Does it make sense for US (I’m talking about ME, and I’m talking about YOU) to actually convert a few easily transported 20′ ISBU’s (that I already have) into small containerized medical clinics and power centers. They’re solid steel, folks. By design they are already easily secured against Mother Nature… and everything else that accompanies chaos and unrest.
These medical clinics in a box could be quickly positioned by pulling them off small flatbed trailers (or even dropped by military helicopters if the road infrastructure doesn’t exist in a usable form), to allow the healing to start quickly?
It wouldn’t be that expensive. I’m POSITIVE that I could get doctors to help source the needed medical supplies to stuff them with, we’d just provide “the envelope”.
They’d run off auxiliary generators, built right into the boxes. They’d have lockers, and tables, and cabinets. They’d even have tanks for water, and a pressurized water system.A/C? Yep. Easy.
(And yeah, I’d probably try to bolt a few Photovoltaic panels to them… You know me!)
Forgive me in advance for going all “Thomas Jefferson” on yer butts…
We, the people…
…could convert 20′ ISBU boxes for medical and utility service in a few WEEKS, once we got all the parts and the stockpiles required to actually mobilize these boxes. They could be there in a little over a MONTH. This would help buy those other agencies the time that they need, to start helping, once somebody PAYS for that help.
This isn’t that crazy, it’s already been done by another medical group. In fact, I wrote about it on this very blog, months ago.
I’m positive that if we could build them, I could get them there, by just contacting a few churches to underwrite the actual shipping fees to get them to Haiti for deployment. Getting them into the hands of doctors who need them, is easy. There are hundreds of volunteer doctors waiting to go help as soon as they have some kind a workable situation to help the Haitians heal from.
I’ve spoken to my wife about it. (For those of you who aren’t regulars to the blog, my wife has advanced cervical cancer.) Here are her exact words on the subject;
“I’m ill and things aren’t good, but the Haitians, especially the children, are dying NOW. Today. If you can, DO it. They don’t have the luxury of time. At least we have that.”
Give me some feedback here, campers. I won’t be able to do it alone, and it’s a chance for “us guys” (just “Average Joe’s” without “incorporation credentials” and board rooms filled with high-priced execs) to do something profound, immediately, while the “companies fight over money” that they’ll get eventually to compensate them for their ‘philanthropy’.
The Haitian people don’t have the time to wait for all the red tape to get navigated.
Here’s something else I learned;
I’ve heard about a new 2009 Tax Benefit:
Charitable contributions made Jan. 12 – Feb. 28 2010 in response to the Haiti earthquake can be claimed as itemized charitable deductions on your 2009 tax return instead of waiting to claim these on your 2010 tax return. As with any charitable gift, consult your professional tax advisor.
Hey Ronin: Is my cash donation to Haiti earthquake relief efforts applicable to my 2009 tax returns?
Yes. Charitable contributions made before March 1, 2010, in response to the Haiti earthquake can be claimed as itemized charitable deductions on your 2009 tax return instead of waiting to claim these on your 2010 tax return (see The House of Representatives bill H.R. 4462 passed 1/20/10).
And like I said above, as with any tax concern, please consult your own professional advisor to learn how a gift to Haiti relief bill will affect your tax situation.
As we sit on the couch watching television, people are being put into body bags. It’s time for it to stop. No matter how hard my life is, it’s just not THAT hard. If you want to help, if you can spare a few bucks or a few hours… you know where the Paypal button is, and you know my email address.
WE can make a difference. The hell with waiting for corporations to profit. Kids are dying. It could have been mine.