LRC Response to Hurricane Ike

After Hurricane Ike, at the request of the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, the Laura Recovery Center:

  • Set up a hotline for Galveston area missing person calls
  • Had this hotline functional within two hours of the request
  • Answered over 1000 calls at the local, state, national and international levels related to Ike
  • Took in 915 missing persons cases
  • Manned the hotline 24/7 for 2 weeks following the storm
  • Created a database to track missing persons cases
  • Logged in excess of 2000 volunteer hours working on these cases
  • Kept the hotline open for 4 months, implementing voice mail at night
  • Determined which cases were reported by multiple people, reducing the number of actual missing person cases to 742
  • Posted missing persons list and photos on LRC public website
  • Made our private database available to GCSD, GCOEM, GPD, and the Red Cross so that they could access our information
  • Followed up on all 742 cases, making and answering thousands of calls in an effort to locate each missing person
  • Contacted the Red Cross, shelters, hospitals, etc. to try to coordinate our missing person list with their evacuees
  • Continuously updated our database and website with new information on those missing and those located
  • Helped families get in touch with missing persons
  • Worked with the Medical Examiner's office to help identify the deceased
  • Currently has 10 cases still open and unsolved
  • Continues to work on these 10 cases

    The initial request made by the GCOEM was to take in calls for missing persons in the unincorporated areas of Galveston County. However, the hotline number published by them did not specify this. Also, many callers did not have that information. Therefore, we answered calls for all the missing, including all areas of Galveston county and affected areas of Chambers and Harris County.

    A researcher at Tulane University used the LRC data from Ike to prepare the following paper.

    Tulane University Paper based on LRC Ike Data45.6 KB