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Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:09 am
by Big Pete
This might not be the best place to post this, but I want to "vent" and maybe get some feedback on ideas below:

Like many people I have been shocked by the lack of an organised response to the recent series of Hurricanes in the Caribbean.
Shipping bottled water from the UK to Gibraltar, transshipping it to HMS Ocean to take to the area is Logistical nonsense, wasting valuable time and money even without the breakdown to Oceans machinery causing further delays.

I hope that lessons can be learnt from the disaster and applied in the future:

If United Nations Rules stop us spending our Foreign Aid Budget "on wealthy Countries" maybe our Foreign Aid budget should be split into Official "United Nations endorsed" and Unofficial Aid for Disasters where as a Country we feel we should assist. Very few people in this Country understand why our Foreign Aid Budget is being spent on Countries, like North Korea, India, Pakistan and others, whose Leaders have made a "Lifestyle choice" of putting guns before butter, like Germany in the 1930's, and expect us to feed their people, while they spend their own money on Nuclear weapons, ICBMs, and the Space Race.

Materials assistance with clean water, food, personal hygiene equipment, Solar chargeable lanterns, a change of clothing, plastic sheeting and rope to make a basic shelter should ideally be supplied within 24 hours, that means that permanent warehouses storing these items should be established just outside the Hurricane Area in a location with Good Air and Sea Links, and ships and aircraft should be loaded up and follow the Hurricanes path ready to start delivering help as soon as the wind drops.
There appears to be plenty of time to do this if a suitable organisation is in place, the tracks of the Hurricanes appear to be forecast well in advance.
To ease distribution of this initial assistance I suggest that it should be prepacked in Rucksacks, which would enable the recipients to carry it away. TV footage of relief being given to people often shows them struggling to carry what they have been given.

Small converted Ro Ro Ferries, similar to the Africa Mercy ships, or ex Military Landing craft could be fitted with large Electrical generators that could be plugged into an Islands Electricity supply, to restore power and De salination equipment and large Fresh water storage tanks enabling them to pump clean drinkable fresh water into the Islands water mains.
They could also provide accommodation for Volunteers to help clear the wreckage and restore the Utilities and carry the necessary Earth Moving equipment, building equipment/ materials, Motor transport for distributing aid, portable generators for areas where the overhead power lines are down, a mobile hospital, a temporary Radio station and Mobile phone mast to restore communications temporarily while permanent repairs are being made to the Islands infrastructure. Not all these items would be needed every time but it makes sense to cover all eventualities in specially built or converted vessels.

None of the Islands could support such a system on their own, but collectively they could contribute part of the costs, as the equivalent of a collective Insurance Policy against the consequences of Hurricane damage, this Regional effort could include Haiti, Cuba, San Juan and the parts of Mexico and the USA that are effected by Hurricanes with support from the "Colonial Powers" of the USA, UK , France and Holland, that are still responsible for many of the Islands.

Any thoughts?

Re: Hurricanes

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:36 pm
by JollyJack
I've often thought that Trinidad would be an excellent spot for a hurricane relief base, it's south of the normal TRS zone, but handy for the island chain stretching north to BVIs and Puerto Rico. West of T&T, the Dutch Antilles, in particular Curacao, is generally south of the usual TRS zone. Both Port of Spain, in Trinidad, and Willemstad in Curacao, are container hubs, so there is lots of space to find a corner in which to store a few 40' boxes. As for suitable vessels, the old LSLs, (Camelot Class, Sir Lancelot, Sir Bedivere etc.) would be ideal. I think they are all razor blades now though.

I did 3 contracts on box boats on a run from PoS to Colon, 10 ports in 14 days (!) anchored in the east at Port of Spain and in the west at Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. All ports were south of the TRS zone, on the coasts of Venezuela, Columbia, Panama and Costa Rica with a call at Willemstad westbound and eastbound.

Re: Hurricanes

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:08 am
by Big Pete
Thanks Jolly Jack for the input, Hurricanes happen every year and even rich sophisticated countries like the USA have problems dealing with them, smaller Countries have no chance on their own.
Working for Norwegian Companies I found that they shared a pool of spare parts, in case of major failures, so if your Alternator blew up your Super could get one out of stock and to your ship in 48 hours, and either replace it in stock with a new Alternator or the old one reconditioned.
I have seen that something similar is now happening in the North Sea with the Oil companies sharing a database of spare parts, an essential pump on one rig failed, and would have shut down the rig while a new pump was made but another Oil company had the right pump in stock, minimising downtime, these are all ideas that could be applied to disaster relief to make a big impact at very little cost.
I just don't know how to get Political interest on this.

Re: Hurricanes

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:33 pm
by JollyJack
There's the rub! Political will! The actual logistics of getting bits and pieces delivered to various parts of the world is no problem but the thought of somebody paying for it is. There is no profit in saving lives and reconstructing infrastructure, is there? It's a dead loss. After all, it's all about the money, and ONLY the money, all the time.

Re: Hurricanes

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:57 am
by JK
I thought I had posted already, but must have saved it as a draft...and I have no idea how to get them back!

A comment on your proposal.
First, back feeding the electricity requires infrastrucure. Power lines would be the first to go.
This was the problem during the ice storm in Quebec that destroyed so much of the infrastructure. We had the floating power plant but no where to send the power. Maybe portable distribution centers to power the command centers and emergency services?

I really like the water idea. Canada has a Dart team that as one of its duties will provide water purification along wit hprimary medical care; and
engineering help.

A ship with a large tankage could supply a large amount of potable water and run lines to provide distribution centers.

Re: Hurricanes

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:15 am
by Merlyn
Buy a desalinator plant and a big genset like Gibraltar does.
Tastes foul.
The place sells a lot of bottled water.
Can't think why.

Re: Hurricanes

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:46 pm
by JK
They desalinate water in that area? Gross.

Re: Hurricanes

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:52 pm
by JK
so how does the Jones Act fit in to this kind of idea? ... ng-waiver/