Hurricane victims turn to the net

Nearly half of those affected in America&#39s gulf coast region by last year&#39s devastating hurricane “Katrina” turned to the Internet to make their claims for financial help. At a conference in Las Vegas, a senior executive from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose local director quit soon after the hurricane hit, said 45% of requests for relief had come via their website. FEMA has faced criticism as its site initially only worked with the latest version of Microsoft&#39s browser Internet Explorer – they claimed that the priority in building the website was to “get it on line quickly”.

FEMA had a &#39farm&#39 of 50 servers to cope with the traffic, but were hit at a crucial time by an Internet worm – now FEMA scans its machines every day and shuts down any computer that does not have the latest security updates.

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