In areas that suffer from wars, famines, or natural disasters, people are often deprived of the most basic of medical needs. There are countless agencies and charities which work all over the world trying to bring relief as best they can, but getting the help to the most vulnerable people is often a massive logistical challenge. For a number of years, the US Army has been using shipping containers to set up temporary bases and field hospitals, and this is something that is now catching on in the civilian world. Intermodal shipping containers can be easily transported by road, rail, sea, and air, meaning that you can get them to just about anywhere in the world, fast.
The Ease of Construction
With shipping containers coming in standard sizes all over the world, it is very easy to design a plan that can convert any shipping container where ever it is. The work could be done to the same plan in a workshop in the USA, Australia, France or South Africa, with the design not having to change at all. Their uniform size also means that they can be joined together and remove the interior walls to create a larger room. If you require a mobile surgical unit, you can create an operating theatre which is going to be big enough for your needs. If you just need a first aid station or nurse’s station, then you might be all right using a single shipping container. Whatever design of a shipping container you need it can be prefabricated with everything that it will need when it arrives at its destination. You can load all of the supplies inside of the shipping container before transporting, and when it arrives at its destination, it can be quickly assembled and put to use straight away.
Transporting Shipping Containers is Easy
In the 1950’s, the transportation industry all over the world agreed to make shipping containers standard sizes. You can send a shipping container from one side of the world to the other. When it arrives at its destination, it can be unloaded and loaded with ease. The term Intermodal refers to the fact that you can transport a shipping container by various means of transport.
- Sea – Container Vessels transport millions of shipping containers each year.
- Air – Although more expensive a shipping container will fit inside the hold of a cargo plane, or beneath a cargo helicopter.
- Rail – Shipping containers fit easily onto cargo trains.
- Road – The most common way for a shipping container to arrive at its final destination is by truck, which can load and unload without the use of a crane.
Using all of the methods of transport that are available, it is possible to get a number of shipping containers that are converted into medical centres, anywhere around the world, within a matter of days. Converted shipping containers make an ideal solution when having to deal with natural disasters that can occur all over the world. You can have all of the equipment that you might need, in a location that it is needed, within a few days. The first 48 hours of any disaster is the most important, so the sooner you can establish your facilities in the area that that you need them, the better.
Building a Temporary Hospital
Although it is not ideal for a long term solution, shipping container hospitals can be built to assist local populations with their medical needs. They can supply medical services in areas where the infrastructure has collapsed, or is in a state of disrepair. The shipping containers are also built extremely sturdily, so they can survive both harsh treatment, and also harsh conditions. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines and other surrounding countries, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. As well as over 6,300 people being killed throughout South East Asia and the Philippines, buildings and infrastructure were also devastated. Many shipping containers that were kitted out for medical purposes were shipped to the Philippines where they helped to provide vital medical aid to the local population.
Environmentally Friendly and Cost Effective
Recycling shipping containers is not only an environmentally friendly thing to do, but it is also cost effective when compared with building a temporary structure in situ. It is not only governments and aid agencies that are utilising these rectangular building blocks! You can find shipping containers for sale in Washington, as well as the rest of the USA, and people are using these to build affordable building. From schools and shelters for the homeless, to people building their homes, people are using shipping containers in an effort to make affordable, and durable buildings to both live and work. Recycling and repurposing shipping containers to create a temporary structure is an excellent way to put these rectangular boxes to another use when no longer needed for normal freight. A normal Portakabin is very expensive, and not as easy to transport as a shipping container.
By choosing to convert a shipping container you can equip the inside with as much equipment as you need, and be able to transport the shipping container to any destination on our planet, with relative ease. There is a lot more to the humble shipping container than first meets the eye!