|By Jeremy Geelan||
|September 2, 2005 03:00 AM EDT||
Demonstrating the role Internet technologies (i-Technology) can play in disaster relief and recovery, the Santa Barbara, CA-based National Institute for Urban Search and Rescue (NIUSR) has launched a web site aimed at facilitating the location of victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The web site will present a consolidated source of information about missing persons with information collected from a number of missing persons lists and web sites. The victim location website, http://www.niusr.org/, serves as a place where families and loved ones can identify those missing or known to be safe. Information about individuals missing and those confirmed safe will be posted on this website with the information periodically updated. The information will also be directed to other web sites for posting.
In addition to collecting names from those registered on this site, NIUSR has arranged with the San Diego State University Super Computing Center to facilitate collecting information from a variety of web sites used for reporting missing and confirmed safe individuals. The consolidated information will be posted on the NIUSR website.
Lois Clark McCoy, president of NIUSR, stated the site was launched after receiving numerous inquiries from family and friends desperate to find information about the safety of their loved ones in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "We are very appreciative of the help we received from the San Diego State University Super Computing Center and AudienceCentral. Their generous donation of technology and technical assistance has made it possible to quickly launch this communications center."
The launch of the NIUSR victim location center was inspired by an inquiry received by the uncle of 24 year old Lauren Clark, who hadn't been heard from since heading to a local shelter to care for her wheelchair-bound family members. Her uncle, Doss Fowler of Destin, FL, contacted NIUSR after realizing that the shelter his niece was reporting to was on Highway 90, which was reported to be heavily damaged and underwater in some areas. Mr. Fowler was later able to contact NIUSR, through the same inquiry method, confirming his niece's safety.
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