App lets Louisiana keep track of resources during rainstorms

The 2002 hurricane season dealt Louisiana a particularly soggy blow.

In late September, Tropical Storm Isidore hit the Gulf Coast, followed by Hurricane Lili a week later. Thousands of Louisiana residents had to leave their homes to stay in emergency shelters. About a half-million Louisianans were without power.

To track the status of the shelters and other emergency resources during the storms and subsequent flooding, state emergency officials used the E Team messaging and tracking application from E Team Inc. of Canoga Park, Calif.

Each state agency and all but one of Louisiana's 64 parishes used E Team to report which shelters were open and what resources they had, such as sandbags and trucks, said Matt Farlow, chief of Louisiana's Operations and Communications Division.

The Internet connection in one parish was knocked out, he said, and officials had to phone in their situation report.

'There's more information being requested by more and more sources,' Farlow said. 'You really need a management information system. You cannot do it by paper anymore. Paper tends to get lost.'

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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