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GSA Provides 24/7 Hurricane Katrina Relief Information to Citizens via USA Services

GSA # 10183
                                                                                                            
September 7, 2005
Contact: Eleni Martin(202) 501-1231
eleni.martin@gsa.gov

Washington, DC – The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) USA Services program has responded to approximately 25,000 calls and e-mails from Americans seeking information about Hurricane Katrina and relief efforts related to this devastating storm.  Managed by GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications (OCSC), USA Services provides citizens with access to accurate, timely and consistent answers and information via phone, the internet and publications.

“Information is critical to citizens impacted by Hurricane Katrina,” said GSA Administrator Stephen A. Perry, “and outlets such as USA Service’s National Contact Center at 1(800) FED INFO -- operating 24 hours day, 7 days a week – www.FirstGov.gov and www.FirstGov.gov en Espanol provide information about available resources.”

The USA Service's National Contact Center (NCC) has received many compelling calls from citizens.   In one case, a frantic grandmother in California called the NCC because her granddaughter and her three grandchildren were stranded in the attic of their home in a New Orleans suburb with water continuing to rise.  After unsuccessfully trying to reach local emergency numbers, the grandmother called the NCC.   A NCC supervisor reported the situation and the address of the trapped people to the State Police who, later that night, were able to confirm that the family had indeed been rescued.

FirstGov.gov has created a menu of information specific to Hurricane Katrina – including links that enable victims of the storm to seek information about lost loved ones; links to the agencies responsible for victim assistance; a “How to Help” section (donate and volunteer); up to date information on the progress of relief efforts; and information on:

  • Replacing Vital Records
  • Accessing Katrina-Related Hotlines
  • Katrina FAQs—Updated Daily
  • Missing Persons—Lists and Search

FirstGov is also serving as the government portal for hurricane-related information in Spanish at http://www.firstgov.gov/Espanol/Topics/Desastres/Huracan_Katrina.shtml.

GSA has also been providing supplies and services to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the interagency community in support of the relief effort for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Per the National Response Plan (NRP), GSA provides resources to federal customer agencies such as contracting services, building and space, supplies and tools, information technology, telecommunications, transportation, and other services.