Converting a Shipping Container to a Clinic

29 Jan

Greetings, Campers!

As you know, I’ve interrupted my “posting plan” to shift gears and help the Haitians.

After almost a week of listening to “plots, plans, schemes, and brain farts… mostly from Armani clad guys who’ve never seen a plasma cutter, or even the ugly end of an ISBU… ” gears are shifting…

While we here at RR  prepare to build Cathy’s House, we’re going to pound out a few Medical Clinics, nestled safely inside 20′ ISBUs (Shipping Containers.) Now, we’re not the first people to think about doing this. And we’re certainly not the most famous.

In fact, according to the locals, the only thing I’m famous for is “being a jerk”…

Those guys at STACK Design Build up in Rhode Island have made a pretty good go of it, however… and I’m going to talk about them today.

(No! not being “jerks”. But… um… I don’t really know them. If they’re as passionate about this as I am… Hmmmm. Just kidding!)

Note the number of guys working on the box at any given time.

And, note the TYPE of insulation they used. Does that ring any bells? Hmmm?

In the after math of the earthquake and aftershocks, Haiti needs medical doctors, and an efficient level of triage and treatment. But, what it doesn’t have, is medical facilities in abundance. The facilities that are operational, are more flooded than The South was, during Hurricane Katrina.

What’s needed right now, beyond food and water, is mobile or movable medical clinics to provide basic and essential health services to both localized and remote communities and what are rapidly becoming “refugee camps”.

These clinics will need to be able to deal with everything from treating diseases to the ravaged population, to providing pre-natal and post natal care for mothers and children. The ability to provide wellness education and enhance lives on a daily basis mandates that these clinics be robust, sturdy, and sustainable.

Enter the ISBU;

If you’ve been reading this blog more than one single day, you know that I preach the “Corten Covenant”…

“Thou shalt not kick a Shipping Container’s butt.”

I’ve told you over and over again that shipping containers are Tonka Tough steel boxes, designed to take a licking and keep on ticking. They ply the high seas, thumbing their noses at torrential rain and conditions that would make Rambo faint from fright.

The exteriors are already weather resistant at a level that by far surpasses the needs we’ll have in the conversion process.

The interiors are capable of being converted in any of a hundred ways, limited only by imagination and manpower. Be it sleeping quarters, or a birthing room, laboratory or field office, these boxes are more than ready to take on the task. And, they’re a blank slate.

Your only limitations are your own skillsets.

As we see it, these Container Clinics will be deployed initially, just to combat the health problems facing Haitians at Ground Zero and the outskirts. Later, they could be integrated into “Empowerment Centers” to become something more, permanent localized medical treatment facilities incorporated into schools, distribution centers for food water and medicines, orphanages, you name it.

Like those noble guys at STACKDB, I believe that you have to “respect the container” for what it is, and then make sure that you don’t try to make it do something it’s not designed for.  (How many time shave you heard me say that?)

Shipping Containers are designed to be integrated,  designed to be locked to other containers, stacked together in strong  “Steel Honeycombs”, to safely secure contents against anything that gets thrown at them.

Shipping Containers AREN’T designed to be stacked “willy nilly”, at angles on top of each other, or cantilevered out to create giant point loading burdens on unsupported side rails.

We’re going to design energy efficient, sustainable, affordable clinics that measure up to the job they are being asked to perform.

They’re going to save lives. And they’re going to do it every day, in any weather, facing any storm (be it Mother Nature or man-made)  in a secure and safe fashion.

While we’re doing this, as individuals, the corporations will ramp up, to commit to their funded and vetted programs.

We’ll just accomplish our mission several months before they pick up a “paid for” pencil.

If we save ONE life, it will be worth it.

Stay tuned.

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. It could have been YOURS, too.


3 Responses to “Converting a Shipping Container to a Clinic”

  1. Wiet verslaving January 31, 2010 at 3:51 am #

    Normally i don’t respond to a post like this, but since i really liked it I just had to give you a thumbs up 🙂

  2. panama February 27, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    You can tally me in for a Digg. Thanks for posting this on your blog!

  3. white widow March 12, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    Never saw this before ..
    This article has some good information!

Comments are closed.