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i-Technology & Katrina: Relief Portal Empowers Survivors, Families, Businesses

www.reliefportal.com Aims at Helping Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas regions

A Louisiana technology firm announced the release of a portal website designed as a centralized listing of resources to help hurricane survivors, their families and business affected by the disaster. The website, http://www.reliefportal.com/, networks people in need of help with those providing help throughout the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas regions.

The Relief Portal was created by Lafayette, Louisiana based web development firm, Firefly Digital. Expecting the portal to receive millions of visitors each day, Firefly partnered with their web hosting partner, Rackspace Managed Hosting, to implement a suitable solution, according to Firefly CEO, Mike Spears.

"As we worked to support our New Orleans clients, and as our technology peers in Lafayette and across the region began work on databases and websites designed to support hurricane victims, we realized a need to centralize all of these resources and provide a single point of access," explained Spears.

The Relief Portal organizes resources targeting three primary users; people who need help, businesses that need help and people who want to help.

"An incredible number of people are desperate for information. They are looking for missing family members, seeking the bare necessities of life and struggling to put their lives back together," Spears said.

"Our mission is simple: to quickly connect people who need help with every source of help available to them."

Spears is counting on the assistance of the disaster support community and people who have found help to share their sources and submit useful listings to the portal website. At launch, the Relief Portal provides links to more than 100 support resources in the hurricane hit regions.

Doug Meaux, Firefly General Manager, explains that the portal website will help hurricane victims find food, clothing, shelter, missing persons, housing, jobs and other needs. It will help businesses relocate, find their employees, and find essential resources to resume operation. It will also provide an avenue for people who want to help with donations and by volunteering to help.

Bill Dalton, Firefly Vice President, spearheaded the planning and execution of the hosting solution with partner Rackspace.

"We knew we needed a world class technology solution to host a site that could get more than one million visitors each day, and we needed it fast. Rackspace generously provided the hardware, bandwidth and support staff to implement an effective solution in less than 48 hours," Dalton said.

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