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The Best Way to House the Haitian Earthquake Refugees

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We have a humanitarian disaster bigger than the one already occurring on the ground in Haiti. When the rainy season comes, with all the tropical storms and hurricanes that come plowing through this area every summer, we can count on a disaster that could dwarf the death toll from this earthquake.

A major hurricane, could strike hundreds of thousands of people with little or no shelter. One of the quickest solutions and one that would be very cost effective would be to use the steel waterproof shipping containers cargo ships use to deliver goods to the world.

Now the U.S.A. with all its good intentions tends to get all bogged down and the logic gets all mixed up and complicated in offering aid. With Katrina for instance, we built thousands of formaldehyde poisoned 234 sq ft trailers, that while FEMA flat out refuses to say how much the government paid but reliable estimates by the New York Times & others place the cost at over $60,000 each.

Because the United States has a huge trade deficit the U.S. imports estimated 9 million units a year and exports only 6 million. The leftover shipping containers are being left in U.S. harbors because it is cheaper for the steamship lines to leave empty containers at American ports than to pay the freight to ship them back to their ports of origin.

These containers are waterproof and weather tight they can be stacked because of their uniform dimensions and several companies have developed designs for offices for construction sites and emergency shelter. These containers would be safer and more secure than the homes that most Haitians were living in before the quake.

Why bring in tents, let's get a relief project right this time and use the right material. These containers are built to stack and with stand the storms of the open ocean. I think these a logical approach to the rebuilding of Haiti.

Go to these web sites and see the uses to shipping containers.

http://www.architectureaustralia.com.au/aa/aaissue.php?issueid=200109&article=11&typeon=2

http://www.fabprefab.com/fabfiles/containerbayhome.htm

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