Editorial by James C. Benerofe
With the onslaught of natural disasters in recent months, there are practical steps that we could
take to make recovery easier and allow for dealing more effectively with long and short term recovery. We have been faced with hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Hurricanes
and floods have devastated island and coastlines.
Why don’t we have some large cruise ships come into places like Puerto Rico and other tropical islands and house thousands of people until reconstruction of infrastructure can be completed.
This would be an immediate interim solution–an obviously temporary measure.
For the long term, FEMA should consider and evaluate building disaster recovery ships that would essentially be floating cities. These ships would be designed like cruise ships. FEMA might also
explore buying and modifying existing cruise ships. These ships would have the ability to move to a disaster area within a matter of days. The ships would be designed with all of the facilities that a community has–apartments, retail stores, medical services, recreational services, and a lot of other necessities. The ship would be stocked and maintained at all times. The ships would vary in size
starting at accommodating 500 to 1000 people and going to as large as 5000 to 6000 people.
The objective of this concept would be to bring families and individuals back to some kind of
normal lifestyle as quickly as possible.This kind of program will require extensive evaluation.
We are dealing with catastrophic events involving millions of people and we need to do something.