Help, Aid and Advice Pouring In5:23 PM EST Thu. Sep. 13, 2001
In the aftermath of the nation's worst tragedy, offers of help, aid and advice have come pouring in.
In ways both grand and small, companies, organizations and individuals are doing what they can to provide comfort and relief to those impacted by the tragedies of Tuesday that have left some 4,700 missing and countless others grieving over their fate.
GE, Microsoft and Cisco alone have pledged more than $25 million to help with relief efforts. Thousands of other companies have also offered funds and other forms of assistance. That includes organizations across the country from where the tragedies of New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania occurred.
In Cupertino, Calif., for example, local Apple specialist Elite Computers has pledged to donate to the American Red Cross $25 per sale of each Macintosh through the end of September.
"Over the last couple of days we have all been struggling with a way to help from so far away," said company president and CEO Thomas Armes. "We planned for the grand opening of another store this Saturday, but don't want to be disrespectful. On the other hand, we don't want to stop and give in to the notion that the terrorists have won anything."
Closer to New York, the site of the World Trade Center tragedy, 3rd Millennium Management of Wayne, N.J., said it will provide free communications assistance to businesses impacted by the terrorist attacks. The company, which specializes in business development consulting, has offered to help connect employees and their families and help businesses develop crisis communications programs and contingency action plans.
Pittsburgh-based RedSiren Technologies, an outsourced enterprise security services provider, will provide no-cost, no-obligation recommendations on protecting corporate infrastructures. Dain Gary, vice president of security services at RedSiren Technologies, says the company is trying to be proactive and share what it can with organizations that, unfortunately, may be more vulnerable than they might suspect.
"We believe the advice we have put forth on our site is pertinent because most organizations have not thought of their systems from a security point of view," says Gary. "They tend to think of them from the standpoint of availability, continuity and performance. But security is critical, as we now all know."
RedSiren Technologies, which keeps its official client list confidential but noted that it counts several Fortune 100 companies among its customer base, added that it is no way trying to profit from the tragic events. In fact, a company spokesman said it has offered increased levels of security to several of its clients at no additional charge during this period of uncertainty.
Other integration companies are also stepping up. Several vendors have asked AMC Corp. to server as a crisis center for both end users and fellow integration companies in the New York area. Located just a few blocks from the site of the New York tragedy, AMC has extensive operations that remain up and running and can offer help with getting customers back up. The company, which has an additional integration facility in nearby Brooklyn, N.Y., has system engineers available to help and
certain storage, server, system and peripheral devices in stock. To keep up with the around the clock demand for help, the company has enlisted the assistance of out of work engineers who have been put out of work due to the weak economy.
"While not true disaster recovery, we are stepping up and offering staffing, staging, integration and training assistance. We have a whole raft of services," noted AMC senior vice president Mark Romanowski. "We're okay, but its been very tough. We're coping by doing what we can."