I agree to Idea Rail Safe-Harbor
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Idea#92

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FEMA Think Tank »

Rail Safe-Harbor

Base-sites in local communities (e.g. Inexpensive warehouse design approximately the size of a Walgreens or CVS up to Wal-Mart size) that are multi-use, dual powerd by grid or a train engine and spread across the National Rail system to house, treat and/or evacuate populace on a temporary short term basis for a few days before, during or after a disaster event. FEMA heavy resources respond to each location within 6 hours via freight rail utilizing pre-positioned stock less than 300 track miles away, thus permitting directed heavy equipment and personnel to swiftly insert anywhere across the entire lower continental U.S. (lower 48). Use of rail insertion retains controlled flexible and scalable characteristics while avoiding conflict with evacuating traffic on the local highway network. No local on site storage of large scale FEMA emergency supplies/expertise is required. Non-emergency use can be rack warehousing that can be empited by fork lift in under six hours. This space can be leased or rented out for civilian use most of the time.

Contact me at: karl.m.lindblad@uscg.mil

Submitted by 2 years ago

Comments (13)

  1. I like your idea. It uses a system (railroad) that is already in place and could be a good way to move goods when needed. I also like the flexibility of using the buildings as shelters, treatment facilities or supply distribution center as needed. A few drawbacks would be lack of passenger cars if using the rail system for evacuation as you mentioned. Also railways could be unavailable after earthquakes or during major floods like we saw with Hurricane Irene this fall. I like the idea of civilian use between emergencies, but what would you do with said stuff during an emergency?

    2 years ago
    1. karl.m.lindblad Idea Submitter

      Good points. The necessary 'stuff' would be pre-positioned on rail cars in various point of the country and moved to site as needed. The stored 'stuff' in the warehouse would be dumped outside. An insurance plan would cover costs. The civilian 'renter' would agree to this in advance. Thanks for the comments.

      2 years ago
    2. karl.m.lindblad Idea Submitter

      On the issue of damage to the rail. Yes, that can happen as it can to any roadway. But the rail networks are already quite extensive, so some rail lines would remain intact. Additionally rail line repair can be accomplished more quickly, even on a temporary basis, in a control manner. Thanks for the notes.

      2 years ago
  2. I like your thinking but fear that that density of infrastructure will be cost prohibitive. That being said, more needs to be done to be prepared for a MOM event. FEMA has contracts in place for IA but the resources will be depleted before the call them in.

    2 years ago
    1. karl.m.lindblad Idea Submitter

      The building size is not much. If rented as storage space, most of the cost would be re-couped over time. The idea is to keep needed supplies pre-packaged on rail cars and move them to site as needed.

      Thanks for your comments.

      2 years ago
  3. Stocking and warehousing resources is expensive time consuming and most often duplications of efforts. Let the people that do it for a living provide that service ie supermarkets for food or home depot for building supplies.

    2 years ago
    1. karl.m.lindblad Idea Submitter

      Your points are noted, but this is not something designed to be competitive. The disaster site may not have resouces available. Pre-packaged rail cars can be moved to site as needed and used in the local facility. Only designed for a few days usage. As the disaster is mitigated then the local agencies and civilian community can take over. This is designed as a small footprint operation.

      Thanks for your comments.

      2 years ago
  4. Another thought would be containers that would be like the POD or movable railroad carriers. But there again is the cost effective issue as mentioned above and duplication errors. Good ideas and comments from all.

    2 years ago
    1. karl.m.lindblad Idea Submitter

      Excellent note. Yes, flexibility should be a constant element in these plans. Hopefully some testing will give us the best mix to meet needs.

      Thanks for your notes.

      2 years ago
  5. If you used a POD concept, with pre-packaged emergency supplies and PODs stored in available hangers, at Air Force bases, you might be able to cut costs enough to make your general relief concept work. Your present plan is too costly.

    2 years ago
    1. karl.m.lindblad Idea Submitter

      Thanks for your up vote! POD concept is also a good idea for relief supplies and would be welcome. However air lift is also expensive and of limited capacity and delivery to devastated areas. Existing rail system is already in place and offers flexibility via multiple routes. Hence cost concerns are already mitigated. Even if one rail link is damaged it could be quickly repaired or an alternate would likely survive. This is pre-planning for heavy capacity receipt on scene, however all relief supplies would be welcome. Thanks once again for your comments.

      2 years ago
  6. I like your idea. It uses a system (railroad) that is already in place and could be a good way to move goods when needed.What if the rail system is damaged ? So some rail lines would remain intact ? What is the alternative if they aren't intact ?

    2 years ago
    1. The use of intermodal shipping containers would be one way to address the disruption of any one means of delivery. Intermodal Containers can be stored outdoors and transported by aircraft, rail, road, and sea. Constructing dedicated structures is expensive and unnecessary given that you would want flexibility in location that would best be addressed by the use of schools and other available public buildings to bare base into the needed functions.

      1 year ago

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