GSA Supports Tsunami Relief
January 25, 2005
Contact: Jeffrey Woodworth (202) 501-1231
WASHINGTON – When the tsunami inflicted mass destruction in Southeast Asia on Dec. 26, family members and friends of Americans caught in the affected areas wanted to know if loved ones were safe. Many called the Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizen Services special hot line number, operated by the U.S. General Services Adminstration’s (GSA) National Contact Center.
The National Contact Center, part of GSA’s USA Services, one of the President’s E-government initiatives, extended coverage of the hot line to 24 hours, seven days a week, to accommodate the increase in calls to an average 2,000 a day, up from 300 a day before the disaster.
At the same time, FirstGov.gov, the official Web portal of the U.S. government, managed by GSA, launched a special page covering the tsunami rescue and relief efforts (http://www.firstgov.gov/Citizen/Topics/Asia_Tsunamis.shtml). The page contains timely information from sources including the White House, the International Red Cross, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control.
GSA also contributed to tsunami relief efforts through its Federal Supply Service, which provided nearly $10,000 worth of work gloves, gats, parkas, ponchos, disposable face masks, flashlights, batteries, water jugs, tools, first-aid kits, cleaning supplies and duct tape to the military relief teams.
GSA is a centralized federal procurement, property management and policy agency, created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. On behalf of federal agencies, GSA acquires office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. It also plays a key role in developing and implementing government wide policies. GSA’s 13,000 associates provide services and solutions for office operations for more than one million federal workers located in more than 8,000 government-owned and leased buildings in 2,000 U.S. communities.