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Vol. 4 No. 8 October 2005

Katrina data management snafus compound chaos

In the weeks that followed Hurricane Katrina, IT professionals and volunteers scrambled to assemble technology to reunite evacuees with their loved ones. But while technology eventually prevailed, many reunions were delayed as IT and bureaucracy clashed in the face of the unprecedented disaster. On arrival at Houston's Astrodome shortly after the hurricane, approximately 25,000 evacuees filled out a form with their personal information and gave it to the American Red Cross. Volunteers then entered the data into a pilot database program called the Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN), run by a group of nonprofit organizations, including the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Related articles Katrina-affected business gets back Ontrack How to survive a hurricane Preparing for the worst: Effective DR in five stepsHow to create a business continuity plan "CAN is an Internet-based database in which many agencies post information for the purpose of sharing data," said Andrew Adams, an IT production ...

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