Sunday, September 18, 2005
With assistance from Yahoo, we have worked together to create a page that aggregates search sites and tools. The site is http://news.yahoo.com/katrinahelp . On the site, pick a survivor or missing loved one at one of the search sites such as family messages. The People finder on the site web crawls every search site we currently know about. With phone numbers and other information, people can make calls and do other investigative search work to put families back together. Many of the more difficult cases involve families with limited computer skills. The help of tech savvy "Volunteer Searchers" can be an important help in this process.
Also, tech savvy volunteers with computers at home can work with Katrina survivors by phone to assist them to do other things such as work out ID problems, fill out forms etc. This may be more difficult because of the difficulty of establishing trust over the phone. Many of the evacuees have been issued cell phones or voice mail accounts to assist them in communicating. These numbers are often listed in the information included on the search sites such as Family Messages which allows evacuees to leave messages for loved ones online.
TFA has been aggregating the tools we have developed and other information online to assist our volunteers in Houston. You may find it useful. To view it go to, http://www.techforall.org/KatrinaSupport.html .