Storm Season

Published: 2006-03-19
Last Updated: 2006-03-20 01:49:27 UTC
by Marcus Sachs (Version: 1)
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I was watching the news today and saw that northeastern Australia is being hit hard by a tropical cyclone that is as strong as hurricane Katrina was last year.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in the affected area and we hope that the losses and damage are low.  If anybody in the affected area has any lessons to share or if you need any assistance please drop us a note via the contact page above.

Watching the videos of the storm reminded me of how well our readers responded to two requests we had last year in the wake of Katrina.  One was for volunteers to assist with recovery and the other was for assistance with locating and disabling fraudulent web sites and domains designed to take advantage of the Katrina disaster.  I suspect that this year's hurricane season will be no different than last year's so take time now to do proper business continuity planning particularly if you are in areas affected by tropical storms.  Also, if you are able, contact your local chapter of the Red Cross now and sign up for volunteer training.  Regardless of the country you may be in, your local Red Cross or Red Crescent chapter can use volunteers with computer and networking experience.  It's too late to receive training after an emergency happens, so do the training now and be ready to assist when needed in the future.

One more thought - the next "big event" that could happen on a global scale is the avian flu ("bird flu") that every news channel seems to be talking about.  I did a quick search of some potential domain names that contain "avian flu" plus variations and am appalled at what is already registered.  It looks like the scammers and fraudsters are already preparing to take advantage of the Internet community, knowing that many will work from home and will be using the Internet to communicate with family, friends, and co-workers.  We may have to do the same thing we did last year with Katrina and start an effort to identify and disable fraudlent sites and domains, but if you work for an ISP that hosts web sites could you keep an eye out for us and enforce those acceptable use agreements?  It sure would be nice to be able to get in front of this next wave of fraud rather than fight it after it gets started.

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