Monday, September 05, 2005

Volunteers and Donations 

We will continue to need volunteers to assist members of the evacuee community to locate and reconnect with loved ones. The ACT Center is located at the bottom level of the Astrodome in the Theatre at the South Entrance. We now have over 90 connected computers in the dome and numerous individuals bringing laptops to connect to wireless. We don't yet know what Tuesday will bring, but we expect that for the long haul the ACT Center will need a Tech Coordinator and Program Coordinator volunteer for each day it is open along with at least 15 roving volunteers to assist and provide support to those using the ACT Center. Our concern is finding enough volunteers beginnning on Tuesday after Labor Day. If you can be a Tech or Program Coordinator or a Rover and are willing to take a shift (8-1, 12-5, or 4-9) on any day in the next two weeks, please let us know through an email to Pam.Gardner@techforall.org who will be coordinating volunteers begininng Tuesday am, the first day after the Labor Day holiday. She can be reached at our main #713.454.6400.

We anticipate the need to install additional conected computers. We have 90 connected at the Dome. However, we are in the process of figuring out the needs in other relief center locations and will keep folks posted. One of the things we have learned is that we need to be both flexible and nimble in addressing the needs of the evacuees. Thanks for your understanding.

On another note, we have shared lessons learned with the folks running CTC at the GR Brown Convention Center. They should be up and running soon.

Can you help spread the word? There is a new mobile website for those affected by Hurricane Katrina, www.katrinanetwork.org. The site offers online information to people with no internet access. By using or sharing Internet capable cell phones, people can get the word out that they're safe. They can also check for postings from loved ones, receive information automatically and respond - all using mobile phones.

Instead of repeatedly searching for news from a computer, the KatrinaNetwork immediately notifies subscribers directly via email or SMS (text message) when information they need -- about a particular person, neighborhood, street or business -- becomes available.

Perhaps most important, the site supports the self-publishing of information from mobile phones. The KatrinaNetwork allows people seeking information to create listings regarding missing individuals. Persons who create listings, as well as others can "subscribe" to receive instant alerts sent directly to a mobile device or email address when new information is posted.

The services offered by the site are free and can be accessed by Internet capable mobile phones as well as on the web.(The service was created by GetLisa Inc. )
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