Satellite cable provider DirecTV has launched a 24/7 Hurricane Katrina information channel to provide information concerning Katrina relief and recovery efforts to evacuees in shelters across the Gulf Coast region, as well as to DirecTV viewers nationwide.
The channel provides viewers with the ability to send text messages to family and friends separated by the hurricane and its aftermath. Messages are scrolled across the bottom of the television screen on DirecTV's Channel 100.
To place a message on the channel, viewers can send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a text message via their cellular phone directly to text code 48433.
In addition to viewer messages, information available on the channel includes:
- Road closures throughout the Gulf Coast region;
- Counties/parishes in the Gulf Coast region that are able to assist evacuees;
- Locations and phone numbers for special-needs shelters in Louisiana;
- Shelter openings throughout the Gulf Coast region;
- Relief agency contact information, including phone numbers for the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Feed the Children; and
- Insurance company contact information.
DirecTV is also collaborating with the Red Cross and FEMA to provide DirecTV service to shelters throughout the Gulf Coast region to inform evacuees and officials of the latest developments concerning the ongoing relief and recovery efforts.