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i-Technology & Katrina: Cisco Contributes Financial and Human Resources

Donation Expected To Be in Excess of $3 Million

"On behalf of the employees of Cisco, we send our deepest sympathy and condolences to all of those affected by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath," said Cisco's president and CEO John Chambers (pictured) as Cisco, its employees and the Cisco Foundation pledged to contribute financial and human resources to aid in relief and rebuilding efforts for those affected by Hurricane Katrina, including a donation expected to be in excess of $3 million.

"This has been a crushing blow to the residents of the Gulf Coast and we stand by them, ready to help," Chambers continued.

"Speed is of the essence in responding to a crisis situation," he said, "and our focus is squarely on mobilizing resources to help in the relief and rebuilding efforts, while also helping customers and employees recover."

Additional efforts include deployment of Cisco Mobile Communication Kits to the impacted region. These briefcase-size kits contain a packaged set of Cisco technologies designed to be easily transportable and provide mobile Internet Protocol (IP)-based wired or wireless data and voice connectivity for areas that have lost or do not have a communications infrastructure. This allows rapid communications in disaster or remote locations that can be set up within minutes of arrival.

Cisco is working in concert with nongovernmental associations and government agencies to determine the best allocations for the donations, which will include emphasis on four key partnerships:

  • The American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org): Cisco is working with the local Red Cross chapters in San Jose, Calif. and Research Triangle Park (RTP), N.C. and is exploring opportunities in Texas and New England, to train teams of Cisco volunteers to provide on-site assistance to the Hurricane victims. These teams of employees will begin traveling to the region as early as this weekend. Due to the overwhelming response from Cisco employees, Cisco is assessing training and travel assistance for additional employee teams. The American Red Cross is also identifying ways in which Cisco's unique expertise in Internet Communications can help them to better respond to the disaster victims in areas such as re-uniting families who are hurricane victims.
  • Habitat for Humanity (http://www.habitat.org): Habitat for Humanity is sending in a team of experts to assess the situation, and has begun designing the rebuilding plan for the region. This will include responding to existing Habitat families, as well as new families that are recently homeless due to Katrina. Cisco is working closely with Habitat to support this rebuilding effort and provide Internet connectivity throughout the process.
  • One Economy (http://www.beehive.org): One Economy is a national non-profit organization that helps bring access to technology into the homes of low-income people around the country by using technology to connect low-income people to information and tools they can use to build assets and improve their lives. In response to the disaster, One Economy and Cisco are partnering to implement an emergency portal to respond to the local issues and help victims find answers to questions regarding insurance claims, housing, jobs, and other issues that pertain to people affected by this type of disaster.
  • Community Voice Mail (http://www.communityvoicemail.org): Cisco is working with Community Voice Mail, an organization providing voicemail access for those who do not have their own telephone, to explore deploying a system to provide a voicemail box for people made homeless by the hurricane, as well as others who do not have ready access to a telephone and messaging system.

Intel, via the Intel Foundation, has also announced it will be donating $1 million to help with the Katrina aftermath.

 

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The XML-Journal News Desk monitors the world of XML and SOA /Web services to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances and business trends, as well as new products and standards.

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