Hats off to Google and Amazon. After reading Doc's post on servers holding up supplying information, I took a look at the Red Cross site (having served on the board for several years). Problem is, their site was slammed. So I wrote a note to a colleague of mine at Google explaining the situation. Today not only is the Red Cross up and running, but Google has a link to donate to the Red Cross running through Amazon.com.
Smart. Amazon knows how to handle large volumes of transactions.
There is a group of people in New Orleans keeping their data center up and running. Quite an amazing blog which is updated all the time. It's looking like Baghdad with lots of standing water. This is quite the contrast to what is coming from CNN and Washington.
You must always remember to focus on your customers and tell them how you are going to help them. Not make excuses, like "We could never anticipate this type of disaster." Please.
"In an interview Thursday on "Good Morning America," President Bush said, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." He added, "Now we're having to deal with it, and will."
The Internet has a long memory. Remember, this was written in October of 2004:
"The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level‹more than eight feet below in places‹so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.
Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.
When did this calamity happen? It hasn't — yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great."
Moral of this story, people make mistakes. It's more important to get on top of the problem and help them.