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Hurricane Katrina relief

MaxPower

You're my number two
Staff
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#1
As many of you know we have some members living in the areas hit by hurricane Katrina.Perhaps some of you know someone who needs help. If anyone wants to help in any way, just make sure to go through, known, trusted and legitimate channels. a good place to start is The Red Cross; http://www.redcross.org/ Apparently they do not need food or clothing, but money, or manpower if you live near there is needed. They will supply the training.

Any donation of cash will help.

For more information and a list of trusted help organizations, go to: http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=18473
 

ReiMeishin

Dreaming to live
585
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#2
I pledge $100

The red cross site appears to be very busy. I hope this means that people are sending in a lot of donations. :thumbsup:
 

void

Banned - What an Asshat!
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#4
From Boing Boing..

A number of engineers and tech-minded types have written in to BB to ask how they can help with technical expertise. Some have unsuccessfully attempted to contact groups like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, both of which are overwhelmed.


Reader Ignatz Sol is among them:
I know that you're not a volunteer organization, but maybe you can help direct me. I'm trying to find an organization who needs people on the ground in any of the affected areas. I live in Atlanta, but can go directly to any location. I can't get through to the Red Cross or Salvation Army and some other aid groups I have talked to will be helping after rescue is over. I'm a mechanical engineer with tools and I know that someone must need people there to help now. Can you help me? (flyingrobot at gmail.com)​
Anyone have ideas on exactly how individuals who wish to -- people with experience repairing, maintaining, building communications systems, for instance -- can donate expertise?





Some companies are sorting out ways to assist, via public agencies and aid groups. Larry Williamson says:
My employer (F4W) has been called upon to provide a satellite uplink with voip capabilities in the vacinity of New Orleans (we are still waiting on exact deployment instructions). We utilize network hardware from various vendors and have a suite of mesh networking enabled software and hardware setups, including video surveillance and incident communication tools. We provided relief to the authorities during the aftermath of hurricane Charley ( Link ) and now we are going to lend a helping hand with that of Katrina.​
It would sure be great if those of us whose lives weren't shot to hell by the disaster could coordinate ways of pooling tech knowledge resources to assist. I'll update this post as I can, as suggestions come in.



Reader comment: Erik V. Olson says,
People want to help. That's good. The problem is they often can, but they think they can. And, in the end, all they really do is get in the way.

The single best thing Joe Geek can do is give cash. Not stuff, cash. Cash is portable, fast, and useful. Everything else has problems -- even if it is something they really and truly need, because it isn't there, and people and resources are needed to get it there.

The canonical example: Bottled water. Something otherwise useless that is critical in this sort of emergency. So you give a few flats to the ARC. Well, you bought them at retail, and now, the ARC has to put them on a truck (which costs money) and ship them down there (which cost money, and time.)

Let's say you give them $20 instead. The ARC notes that they need water. So, they call a bottler in a city close to, but not affected by, the storm. They get wholesale or cost prices, as opposed to retail. For the same amount of money, they get far more water, far closer to where they need to be. In six hours, you're delivering your flats to the local ARC office. In six hours with cash, they're handing water to people who desperately need it.

Finally, of course, if what they really need is food, your flats of water aren't helpful, but your cash is. So, the lesson:

1) Give cash. That's the best thing you can do from your home.

2) Stay the hell away from New Orleans. Seriously. They're ordering everyone out, that includes you. Do not go.

3) If you are trained to do rescue work, they have almost certainly called you by now. If not, check in with your local org -- records and such get lost, and they may have missed you.

4) If you really insist, go to your *local* American Red Cross office and talk to them. If, in fact, they do need a skill you have, they'll put you with the people you need to know, and start the wheels moving. The single biggest thing the ARC does in disasters is routing solutions to problems.

5) If you have supplies, not cash, you can talk to the local office, but realize that the cost of shipping your supplies may make them worse off then just buying them closer. If you have supplies *and* shipping -- and we're talking trucks, not FedEx, -- then call the local ARC, and talk to them, and if they need what they have, they'll put you in touch with the people who need it, who can arrange how to get it to them.

In general, when they need something, they need lots of it, either in one place or put into one place so they can easily distribute at need. One satellite phone isn't that helpful, esp. if they have to figure out how to make it work. A thousand phones, ready to go, however, is.

6) If they really need what you have to offer, and you are one of the few who can provided it, they've probably called you by now. 7) If you want to help in the future, start working with rescue orgs now. If you haven't been trained in general rescue procedures, your not nearly as helpful. Think of it as backups -- you can't help New Orleans now, but there will be other bad days, and if you've done the classwork and drills, and kept in touch, then you will be one of the people they need -- and they'll call you when they need you. It may not be as elegant as network support -- but right now, they don't care about TCP/IP. They care about getting people out of the floodwaters, and plugging the holes in the levees.

Reader comment: Brenda VonAhsen says,

As this WaPo story suggests, FEMA is no longer in the natural disaster business. And while I've heard reports on the MSM about a government "response" that appears to be mostly related to search and rescue. I think it will be important to watch and see if there is any response from FEMA beyond rescuing survivors. Questions to ask: Are only state and private resources involved in rescue and later, in cleanup and rebuilding? All I hear is talk about making refief funds available. When we had flooding in Fargo/Grand Forks a few years ago, FEMA set up trailers for those made homeless from the floods. To evacuate thousands of people why weren't rail lines used before Katrina hit? Could they be used to transport survivors to those now empty military bases in the south? They'd make excellent refugee camps. Where are the military helicopters? Perhaps I missed seeing them on TV. Surely not every single one is in Iraq? What exactly are the parameters that FEMA operates under now? In the future, what can we can expect in the way of help from the government? Are the states on they're own now when it comes to natural disasters? Why?​
Reader comment: Elizabeth says,

NPR has a list of organizations that need funds and volunteers for hurricane relief. I'd also recommend checking VolunteerMatch if a volunteer has a specific location in mind they want to help.​
Reader comment: Bala Pitchandi says,

Members of the TsunamiHelp blog & wiki and other noble people around the world have assembled to put together the KatrinaHelp Wiki where we are gathering information about the aid agencies, helpline numbers and disaster related information. More importantly, people are pouring us with information about how they can help. We also have received requests from people who need help.​
Reader comment: Vaughn says,

This site might be what you were looking for in terms of tech pros. Some sites in the sidebar to the right are looking for nerds to help get them off the ground for Katrina, and the main site is taking donations as well.​
Reader comment: Angus says,

Craigslist seems to be playing a very important role as information clearinghouse, connecting the missing with the searching, and it becomes more valuable the more people who are made aware of it.​
Reader comment: Charlie Lindahl says,

This page directs people to UU (Unitarian Universalist) churches in the affected areas. Here's the list for Lousiana. Specific help is being asked for, such as food & water donations, and also for workers to help in the cleanup efforts. The Baton Rouge church site is one example: Link. In general, in answer to the question "how do I find out how to help?" I recommend surfing for church-related resources (not limited just to UU).​
Reader comment: Arun says,

For the most part what's needed right now is not tech help, but raw labor. Anyone wanting to help out can just show up at the Red Cross here or at [Louisiana State University]'s Pete Maravich center [in Baton Rouge] and they'll be put to work. Here's a link from the local newspaper's website.​
Reader comment: Rich Kulawiec says,

It seems that everyone currently in the New Orleans Superdome plus many others are going to be moved to the Astrodome...estimates range from 10K to 30K people, with a possible stay of "months" mentioned. (The Astrodome's scheduled is being cleared through December.)

Communications are going to be a serious issue for these refugees; for example, even those that have their cell phones probably don't have their chargers. And in a month, when their bill goes to their still-underwater house and isn't paid, their service will be cut off.

Suggestion: we the geeks put together and deploy the world's largest cybercafe ...in the Astrodome. Granted, Internet access isn't a panacea, but it at least would provide a way for these people to communicate. What's needed: (a) permission from someone in a position to grant permission (b) space+power (c) tables (d) chairs (e) lots and lots of PCs and Macs (f) at least one ISP that provision a pipe into there (g) net infrastructure: routers, cabling, etc. (h) sufficient geek labor to build it. My guess is that (a) might be the most difficult to come up with. So now what?

 

jamesp

In Memory...
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#5
Yeah, Im really glad that you posted this void. I was thinking that maybe I could go down to help restore phones at least. (CCNA, A+, I/R Tech)
 

void

Banned - What an Asshat!
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#6
go, but get affiliated with an aid agency first, or you won't get in the city limits..
good luck.
 

jamesp

In Memory...
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#8
void said:
go, but get affiliated with an aid agency first, or you won't get in the city limits..
good luck.
Yeah, thats what Im working on right now.
 

Descent

Hella Constipated
7,686
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#9
FYI Guys - Keep in mind that compared to the Tsunami of 2004, your money will go MUCH less far in America than it did in Thailand, so think of this.

You can easily purchase an alcoholic beverage in Thailand for around 30 cents. I'm talking a Martini. Now, in America, that costs exponentially more.

The same goes for any kind of supplies - from drinkable water to food and immunizations, the $120 my family donated to the Red Cross for Thailand was like a godsend and helped many, many people. But here $120 won't go nearly as far, barely much at all, but every bit still counts.

So if you have the money, donate more.
 

Jung

???
Premium
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#10
This thread makes me happy, I knew you guys would start an initiative. Thanks. The people of New Orleans, surrounding areas and the Gulf coast desperately need this relief. Please donate what you can, even if it's only $5 or $10; it will make a difference.
 

jamesp

In Memory...
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#11
Im glad to see that you made it through okay jung. And I am so sorry about any property damage or loss of friends that you might have experienced.
 

shep

Local alcoholic
1,853
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#12
I got some of my boys at work to give up the doe.We are sending $1500.00 through red cross canada to red cross in the US.Good luck all :thumbsup:
 

Boycott

Soul Doubt
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#13
When I get paid I'm going to donate about 50 bucks... I know its not much compared to the 100s you guys are donating, and I'm Canadian so it is worth a bit less, but I'm only 17, and will urge my friends to donate as much as they can... :thumbsup:
 

jamesp

In Memory...
1,714
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#14
Boycott said:
When I get paid I'm going to donate about 50 bucks... I know its not much compared to the 100s you guys are donating, and I'm Canadian so it is worth a bit less, but I'm only 17, and will urge my friends to donate as much as they can... :thumbsup:

It really is the thought that counts, and you are doing more than millions of people. Feel good about it. :thumbsup:
 

jamesp

In Memory...
1,714
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#15
If anyone wants to go down to Mississippi, Alabama, or LA, check it out here. Already me, sinamon, and mainly FlipTheState, are trying to get affiliated with an organization and get down there.

Check out the thread here:
http://www.wtf.com/showthread.php?t=13023
 
Last edited by a moderator:

dustinzgirl

Banned - What an Asshat!
26,094
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#16
Please Rember they only need Medical, search and rescue.....if you (not meaning the ones who started this, but for the rest of the members) have not been trained for emergency situations, at this time you will only do more harm than good. Once ppl have been rescued they will need help with clean up, but right now they need trained people for rescue situations, food distribution, ect.

Please do not send the red cross or any other affiliation boxes of food or water, it costs them more money to ship and distribute.

If you are not trained, the best way to help is by sending cold hard cash. As much as you can.

PS: I would love to go down there and help with S&R/recovery, but my family situation prohibits that.

Be safe.
 

jamesp

In Memory...
1,714
1
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#17
dustinzgirl said:
Please Rember they only need Medical, search and rescue.....if you (not meaning the ones who started this, but for the rest of the members) have not been trained for emergency situations, at this time you will only do more harm than good. Once ppl have been rescued they will need help with clean up, but right now they need trained people for rescue situations, food distribution, ect.

Please do not send the red cross or any other affiliation boxes of food or water, it costs them more money to ship and distribute.

If you are not trained, the best way to help is by sending cold hard cash. As much as you can.

PS: I would love to go down there and help with S&R/recovery, but my family situation prohibits that.

Be safe.
Yeah, great point DG. We need people that are trained in emergency medicine, or S & R. But if you wanna donate money to the Red Cross go here:
http://s1.amazon.com/paypage/PELYGQVJ8Q7IB/103-0672753-8670261
 

Icarus

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
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#18
I donated money to the relief fund at school today.
 

void

Banned - What an Asshat!
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#19
several members including jamesp have stated they are willing to give their tech skills labor to assist in this disaster.

i found the following info on boing boing.. more info there..

FCC COORDINATING TECH AID FOR KATRINA DISASTER

Quick notes from conference call hosted by the FCC today about urgently coordinating resources and personnel from internet/wireless service providers to get communications networks up and running in in gulf states.


Lack of communications systems has been identified as a critical issue holding back aid, missing persons, law enforcement, etc. in crisis areas.

FCC personnel are working throughout the weekend to coordinate these efforts with private industry, with wireless technology groups, FEMA, and state governments in Mississippi, Louisiana, etc.

COMPANIES WITH TECH ASSETS AND/OR HUMAN RESOURCES TO DONATE FOR COMMUNICATIONS AID IN KATRINA-IMPACTED AREAS SHOULD DO THE FOLLOWING

FCC Chief of Staff Dan Gonzalez (daniel dot gonzales at fcc dot gov) says

FCC needs the following information from would be tech donors BY NOON EASTERN ON SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 3.

1) identify the provider (name of your company or group)
2) identify assets you are willing to commit
3) state clearly what assets you are technologically capable of providing (IP? data? voice?)
4) what your logistical requirements are to bring that to the affected area.
5) can you bring generators? if so what size? capacity? power levels?

SUBMIT THIS INFORMATION TO

PART-15.ORG (they have an online submission form to collect this data)
or wireless@part-15.org
contacts: Michael Anderson (wireless@part-15.org) 630-466-9090, and Claudia Crowley (ccrowley at gmail dot com), 817-292-0230.
 

void

Banned - What an Asshat!
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#20
oh scratch the above, bush finally got involved so we can obviously trust him to sort it out..

The president spent Friday touring affected areas in Alabama and Mississippi, before taking a helicopter flight over New Orleans.

"This is a storm that requires immediate action, now," he said afterwards.

From BBC.






"This is a storm that requires immediate action, now," he said on fucking Friday!!!!!