Hurricane Katrina: Disaster relief

The government is responding to the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


Federal Computer Week’s ongoing coverage of the relief efforts

September 8, 2005

Katrina knocked out real-time weather
The Internet weather service WeatherBug reported that 83 percent of its weather instrument stations were not functioning.

Leavitt: Katrina demonstrates need for e-health records
Most people displaced by Hurricane Katrina have no medical records, making it difficult for clinicians working in disaster medical centers to treat them, the HHS secretary says.

GSA sends hurricane relief
The General Services Administration has been sending supplies and services to the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

September 7, 2005

Holcomb: Katrina could shift DHS priorities
The disorganized and delayed federal response to Hurricane Katrina will likely alter the Homeland Security Department's priorities, DHS' chief technology officer said.

DHS delays new pay system
Union officials say Homeland Security Department told employees that the new pay system will be delayed for at least a year.

OPM offers Katrina help
People will be available to answer benefits questions on the Office of Personnel Management hot line seven days a week between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CST.

HHS seeks volunteers for Katrina disaster relief
The agency has created a Web site for medical professionals and IT and communications personnel with experience in health care IT who want to volunteer for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts.

Makeshift control towers guide rescue planes
The FAA used its ingenuity to create control towers that allowed thousands of planes to land in hurricane-devastated areas.

Feds rush mobile communications to aid relief efforts
Hurricane Katrina knocked out entire telecom infrastructures in some areas.

September 2, 2005

911 wiped out in many areas
Rescue workers say there is no communications infrastructure in some areas hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina knocks out critical Army supply link
The Army has restarted a critical overseas supply chain after Hurricane Katrina knocked out communications with its Louisianna logistics center.

Outdated hospital bed system hampers Katrina relief effort
The National Disaster Medical System relies on phone calls and faxes to gather information about available beds following disasters.

Red Cross works to restore communications at shelters
Red Cross CIO Steve Cooper says the organization is working to restore communications with its 300 shelters in the region devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

September 1, 2005

Katrina smashes Coast Guard IT
As the U.S. Coast Guard handles search and rescue efforts on the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina’s wrath, it also copes with the loss of much of its IT based in the region.

Navy sends understaffed hospital ship to ravaged Gulf Coast
The USNS Comfort will sail Saturday with only enough medical personnel to staff 250 of the ship's 1,000 hospital beds.

Air Force comms unit to aid Katrina relief effort
The Air Force's 5th Combat Communications Group will provide public telephone services for Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and a makeshift hospital in New Orleans.

USDA keeps paychecks coming, despite atrina
The Agriculture Department's finance center in New Orleans completed the payroll for nearly 500,000 federal workers before the hurricane hit.

FEMA uses closed NASA facility
Agency moves Hurricane Katrina operations headquarters to Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

August 31, 2005

New Orleans radio system flooded
State police bar entry of radio repair technicians to city.

DOD, Coast Guard deploy satcom systems to Gulf Coast
Agencies provide much needed communications in wake of Hurricane Katrina

NOAA supercomputer predicted hit, underestimated force
Supercomputers helped the agency accurately predict where Hurricane Katrina would hit, but they missed predictions about its intensity.

Battery operated radio systems aid Katrina relief efforts
The National Interagency Fire Center is sending two-way radios that can run without commercial power to areas where public safety systems have been knocked out by Hurricane Katrina.

DHS official heads federal response to Hurricane Katrina
Michael Brown, the undersecretary of DHS's Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, was named to coordinate the fed response to Hurricane Katrina.

August 30, 2005

DISA Louisiana megacenter closed in wake of hurricane
The Defense Information Systems Agency said its data processing megacenter in Slidell, La., will be closed until this Friday in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


FCW.com blogs

Hurricane aid information online

Info for feds about Katrina

Surviving without communications

Where does FEMA belong?

FEMA can’t spell disaster without IE

FEMA focus

Buzz for the last week of August: Katrina

Technologies get Katrina bounce


FCW.com poll

Should FEMA be separated from the Homeland Security Department?


Previous government relief efforts: Tsunami

Operation Tsunami Aid
DOD uses IT in biggest relief effort since Berlin airlift

Web aids tsunami response
The Internet is being used to help find people and link resources around the world in the aftermath of the tsunami tragedy.

FirstGov gets tsunami info
FirstGov.gov has gathered Web addresses meant for searching for U.S. citizens affected by the disaster.


Disaster Recovery Sites

FirstGov: Hurricane Katrina Recovery
Includes links on how you can help.

Agriculture: Hurricane Katrina Aftermath Information
Check the bottom right for “key information for all USDA employees.” Specific info for consumers, the National Finance Center (NFC) and for USDA personnel in the affected areas.

CDC: Worker Safety During Hurricane Cleanup
Information on safety, cleanup and disease prevention.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service: Hurricane Katrina Update
Info for military members, retirees, federal civilian employees and families who receive their pay from the Defense Finance and Accounting (DFAS) and have accounts with financial institutions in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

FAA: Damage Assessment
FAA has set up command centers closer to the action at Baton Rouge and Mobile. In addition, the FAA’s System Command Center in Herndon, Virginia is controlling access to the airspace to expedite commercial aviation and to prevent interference with the many emergency rescue and relief aircraft operating in the areas.

GPO: Federal Depository Libraries: Hurricane Katrina Aftermath
Outlines GPO's plan to aid library recovery.

GSA: Continuity of Operations Branch

HUD's Response to Hurricane Katrina
Pending and completed actions related to HUD mission and operations.

HUD Secretary Roy A. Bernardi's 8/31/05 Hurricane Message To Employees
Regarding the continuity of operations for HUD.

Interior: Secretary Gale Norton Message to DOI Employees
Priorities for DOI employees.

NASA: Status of Installations
Updates on Stennis Space Center and Michoud.

NOAA: Emergency Information for NOAA Employees

OPM: HR benefits and flexibilities
Info on HR benefits and flexibilities; FEMA charity tips; and contacting local Federal Executive Board.

OPM: Memorandum on HR flexibilities
Info agencies (CPM 2005-13, June 28, 2005) on HR flexibility for federal employees affected by severe weather emergencies and natural disasters.

Thrift Savings Plan Hurricane Alert
TSP operations at the National Finance Center in New Orleans have been suspended. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.

USGS: Humanitarian and Scientific Aid in Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Info on damaged offices.

Veteran’s Affairs: VA Evacuates Patients from Hurricane Area
VA medical centers in New Orleans and Gulfport both sustained major storm damage. The Gulfport facility has been closed and the one in New Orleans will be closed after the last patients have been transferred.

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