Technology Helps Katrina’s Victims

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, emergency services and relief efforts are relying on technology to help organize funding and support.

XM Satellite Radio is broadcasting a live concert for hurricane relief at 8pm ET on September 2. The hour-long event, organized by NBC Universal Television Group, will air to more than 4.4 million subscribers. Performances will come from artists who have ties with the affected areas, including Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Harry Connick, Jr. and Aaron Neville. Guests will include Leonardo DiCaprio, Mike Myers, John Goodman & Hilary Swank. The broadcast will air live in its entirety on XM’s MSNBC channel (XM Channel 130) and XM’s CNBC channel (XM Channel 127). Donation phone lines will be open throughout the night. For more information visit

The Salvation Army has dispatched its “Big Truck” into New Orleans to assist victims who need to contact loved ones. Operating as a mobile command & communications center with full office facilities, the vehicle provides 75 telephones within its 40-foot by 24-foot structure. For more information, visit

The National Institute for Urban Search & Rescue, an entirely self-funded effort, has responded by launching a web site to consolidate information about missing persons and resources. Working in conjunction with the San Diego State University Super Computing Center, information will be collected for a variety of web sites and posted on NIUSR. For more information visit

iSold It on eBay located in Washington is cordinating community donations by enabling donators to drop off items, worth $30 or more, at four different locations throughout Western Washington. The company is willing to arrange for pick-ups. Items will then be auctioned off and the proceeds will be given to organizations directly involved in providing food, medical care and personal items for hurricane victims. For more information visit

Verizon Wireless has announced its customers can donate funds to the disaster relief, which will be managed by the American Red Cross, by sending a text message to 2HELP or 24357 with the keyword “help.” A reply will ask users to confirm a donation of $5. Customers can send up to 5 texts or $25 through Oct. 31. Donations will appear on the customer’s next monthly bill. For more information visit

Anheuser-Busch, recognizing its unique position to provide safe drinking water, is working to funnel more than 2.5 million cans of water per week into Mississippi, Alabama an Louisiana. The brewery has converted its entire Houston and Cartersville facilities into water bottling plants. In addition, Anheuser-Busch has donated the use of its truck fleet to the American Red Cross to ship emergency supplies including generators, food and clothing.

Granite Broadcasting, which services 13 channels in major US cities, has launched a series of live telethons, public service announcements and news coverage to raise donations for the relief efforts. Working in partnership with the American Red Cross, Granite is donating the use of its stations to keep communities fully informed of ways citizens can help. For more information visit

SYSTEMSgroup Protective Services Division has deployed a convoy of armed security officers for a special mission in New Orleans. The group will provide personal security for the electrical linemen who are preparing to rebuild the city’s electrical infrastructure. SYSTEMSgroup services specialize in electronic security systems, maintenancce and technical support. For more information visit

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