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Saturday, September 3, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Statewide fund set up at Washington Mutual

A statewide fund to help victims of Hurricane Katrina has been set up at Washington Mutual, according to Gov. Christine Gregoire's office. The thrift will match the first $100,000 donated to the Washington Cares fund. Funds taken at each Washington Mutual branch will be directed to the American Red Cross. Earlier this week, Washington Mutual donated an additional $100,000 to the Red Cross.

Center to list donations

King County put the Emergency Coordination Center yesterday on low-level activation in response to the hurricane.

The center will compile a list of items local residents and businesses want to donate and send it to the appropriate agencies. To put something on the list, call 206-205-8280 or e-mail ecc.kc@metrokc.gov.

The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the Labor Day holiday weekend and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. after the holiday. Items should not be brought to the center.

Medical examiner awaits call

King County Medical Examiner Dr. Richard Harruff was told by a national emergency-response team to prepare to deploy to the Gulf states. Harruff, who was part of relief efforts in Pennsylvania after Sept. 11, 2001, and in Sri Lanka after last year's tsunami, quickly packed clothes, medical supplies and his personal water-filtration system.

Five days after the hurricane, Harruff and his luggage remain in Seattle.

"I'm really irritated," Harruff said. "I feel that the disaster-response effort is over bureaucratized. It's top heavy. There is so much effort put into organization they [organizers] have forgotten that disaster response involves rapid deployment of equipment and people."

Harruff corresponds with federal relief officials already stationed in the region several times a day and said he's been told they "don't want anybody coming in there because it's adding to the confusion."

Harruff said the sweltering heat, mosquitoes and corpses are a major public-health concern.

He is considering buying a ticket to Memphis, Tenn., where his daughter, son-in-law and grandchild escaped to when they got word the storm was going to hit New Orleans, and driving to the disaster areas alone.

Wiki to include Katrina blogs

Rob Kline watched in shock at reports of December's tsunami.

He put the word out to computer programmers around the world and organized a compilation of blogs called Tsunami Help Wiki. Now he's reorganized the site to include blogs on Katrina.

"I thought, 'Let's clone the Tsunami Help Wiki,' and people on the team all over the world were thinking the same thing," said Kline, a project manager for Marchex, a local software company.

On the site, http://katrinahelp.info/wiki/index.php/Main_Page, there is information on aid agencies, how to donate, ham-radio resources and missing persons.

Accounting firm donates

Moss Adams, a local accounting firm, has donated $50,000, with a promise to match employee contributions up to another $50,000 in Katrina relief efforts.

"The magnitude of devastation from this event is heart-wrenching and clearly warrants an appropriate response ... ," said Rick Anderson, chief executive officer of Moss Adams.

Compiled by Seattle Times staff

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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