Haiti Update:

28 Jan


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?

In fact, if you left them on trailers, they could literally migrate from area to area as needed.

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.

I’m going to set up a team to figure out how to do this, “SWAT TEAM” style – Hard, Fast, Accurate.

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.

Stay tuned.



6 Responses to “Haiti Update:”

  1. margie g January 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    I’m in. You already know what my skills are…Give me a time frame so I can tie up things here.

    I am ready when you are.

    • renaissanceronin January 29, 2010 at 1:02 am #

      Margie, I think I may have a tractor trailer with your name on it soon. I’ll keep you posted.

      Thanks for pitching in!

  2. Alina January 28, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Amazing, Ronin. I’m here to help in whatever way I can.

    I know you’re the right guy for the job. Those Clinton/Bush guys must be smart. And thanks especially for going all Thomas Jefferson on our butts…

    • renaissanceronin January 29, 2010 at 1:00 am #


      I just wish that the ball rolled faster. I’ve sat in on literally 70 hours of tele-conference, committee, and sub-group meetings since last week and we’ve gotten nowhere as “the suits and politicos” argue about money and “profit margins”.

      It’s like they’ve forgotten WHY we’re doing this in the first place.

      The REASON that I’m going to build these medical crisis units on my own (all by my ‘onesies’ if I have to), is because the politicians and the suits are too busy trying to follow the money.

      I know that if WE do it, they’ll be there, on the ground, saving lives in the next 75 days.

      The anguish is in knowing that children will die before we get them there.

      These units can get integrated into their Empowerment Centers later, once they get their um…er… ‘smelly stuff’ together.

      I’m not going to sit idle, while kids die.

      Thomas Jefferson understood that sometimes the people have to take charge, even if it means pushing the politicians out of the way. This seems to be one of those times.

      More later, I’ve gotta get some sleep.

      Thank you for your support, Alina. I know that you have YOUR hands full as well. How are your kids doing? And your hubby? Are you guys getting better yet?

      Note to readers: Alina’s family is having a rough go of it too. Illness seemingly knows no bounds lately, and her little ones and hubby are taking a beating. I’m keeping them in my prayers, and if you pray, I ask you to as well. This is one ‘good’ family. I’m proud to have them as friends.

  3. sharebear_11300 January 29, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    After they get things set up for the Empowerment Centers they can keep the Medical units moving around the country with services for those that don’t live in the cities or with groups like Dr’s without Boarders… I wish I was closer so I could come and help with the construction of the units.

    • renaissanceronin January 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

      Hi Sharebear,

      Here’s how I see it working;

      We build the Medical boxes, and then ship them to Haiti, where they’re met by Doctors and Nurses who are waiting to take them in-country to start aiding the injured and ill.

      Because of their size, and modular design, they can be deployed easily using something as simple as a flatbed trailer and a pick-up truck, SUV or even farm equipment.

      Once it’s “delivered” it can be unhooked, and the transport vehicle can go elsewhere to help the Haitians in whatever role is demanded.

      As those “Empowerment Centers” come on-line, they can just literally be integrated into the EC’s by connecting them with twistlocks and welders.

      This will allow medical services to be integrated into a recovery plan that includes the distribution of food and water, education, and perhaps even some type of crisis counseling.

      They’ll become “hubs” for newly established “recovery communities.”

      At least, that’s how I see it…

      I’m sure that the “politicians and suits” have another idea…


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