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Katrina refugee identification

Below is a letter from Andy Carvin (originally posted on his blog here),
about locating and identifying Katrina refugees.  I have reformatted it
slightly for readability.  Please help identify people at shelters
near you; and coordinate with shelter organizers who may be doing the same with other tools.

(please circulate widely)

Hi everyone,

For those of you willing to volunteer and photograph evacuees or
collect photos of the missing from bulletin boards and websites, here
are some instructions.

Getting Started
You can create an account at in two minutes, at no cost.
Once you have a account, upload photos and tag them either as:

katrinamissing for missing persons;
katrinafound for found persons that were previously missing; or
katrinaokay for all evacuees you encounter so their status can be recorded

No matter their status, please include a second tag: katrinapeople.
That way we can have a running list of all people encountered.

If you are using a cameraphone to take pictures of people at a shelter,
or if you don’t have a flickr account, you can use the email
addresses below to upload them. Each email address is set up to include the
appropriate tags automatically.

For Katrina Missing People :

For Katrina Found People (people previously reported missing) :

For Katrina Okay People (ie, people who want to let others know they’re
okay, includes evacuees you can find in person) :

Collecting Photos and Data

When taking photos, please try to get a head and shoulder in the best
lighting available so people can make out their features in the

When collecting information from them, please try to get this minimal amount for all three categories:

Full name, including first, middle, last
Permanent address
Current location
Contact information (shelter phone/email/fax, etc)
Full names and descriptions of people they are looking for

Meanwhile, when collecting information about missing people from
bulletin boards, the Web or from personal requests from their
friends/family, try to collect additional information:

Physical Description
Where were they last scene and when?
What were they wearing?
Contact information of anyone looking for them

Note: If you find children that are separated from parents/guardians,
include as much physical descriptive information as you can, as if they
were missing.

How to access photos

The public will be able to access the photos on, and
hopefully, other databases.  For those of you who use RSS, each
one of these has a corresponding RSS feed:

Images of people on Flickr :  Missing  |  Found  |  Okay
RSS feeds :  Missing  |  Found  |  Okay

Lastly, I’ve set up javascripts that you can insert on any webpage to display the images as they’re posted to Flickr.

Found People Javascript:

<script type=”text/javascript”
href=””>Click for
"Flickr: Katrina Found".</a> By <a

Missing People Javascript:

<script type=”text/javascript”
href=””>Click for
"Flickr: Katrina Missing".</a> By <a

Okay People Javascript:

<script type=”text/javascript”
for  "Flickr: Katrina Okay People".</a> By
<a href=””>Feed

I’ll set up pages on to display all of these photo feeds.

Hopefully this is enough to get volunteers started. So if you have any
type of access to an evacuee shelter and a digital camera, please help

Special thanks to Lars Torres and Katrin Verclas for helping to get this organized.


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