Haiti Revisited – Hurricane Isaac’s Unnecessary Deaths

In 2010 following the earthquake devastation in Haiti, I
became concerned about the use of tarps and similar temporary shelter materials
because of the strong possibility of a hurricane later that same year. Haitians
were spared the any serious hurricanes in 2010 and 2011, but in 2012, they were
seriously impacted by Hurricane Isaac.

What I proposed in 2010 was to use ConEx containers for
temporary shelter, feeling that they were in abundance and more durable than
tarps.  I shared my thoughts at DRJ in
Orlando with Hector Fulgencio and Cole Emerson. 
Hector was familiar with ConEx containers from his work in the shipping
industry. Cole has vast experience in disaster response.  The consensus among us was that there was
indeed a surplus of containers in the U.S. and the military could offload them
and place them using heavy lift helicoptors. This would not necessitate using
the ports in Haiti which had been seriously damaged. Since ConEx containers are
transported via the sea, there would also be no need for the damaged and
overcrowded airport.

ConEx containers have been used successfully for shelter
both by the military and by the private sector. If properly ventilated and
secured to the ground, they are far more resilient than a temporary shelter
made from a tarp.

We tried to convince American authorities to create a
partnership wherein surplus ConEx containers could be donated in an appropriate
manner to provide their donors with a tax break while providing the American government
with a way to assist earthquake victims with far more secure should a hurricane
threaten Haiti.  We found no takers.

It was an idea.  Many
ideas fail to come to fruition due to securing the necessary “clout” or “compassion”
to make them work.  We are now seeing
what might have been different if this idea had provided more secure shelter to
victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Your thoughts?

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