Just over two weeks after the largest recorded hurricane in the Atlantic dissipated the disaster relief effort is continuing in New York and New Jersey. Having left 200 people dead in seven countries and caused over $50 billion worth of damage the full recovery effort is expected to continue for some time.
Because of this, and as the needs of those affected change, the operators of the .ME domain have set up help.me, a website designed to ensure that donors wishing to help can do so knowing that their contributions and funds will be delivered securely to those that need it most. The organisers say the application has been designed to reduce the lag between when a disaster occurs and relief efforts, such as donations, begin.
The site is being supported by the web hosting and domain provider Blacknight, whose CEO, Michele Neylon, was elected Secretary of ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group, just days before Sandy struck the US. Michele praised the efforts of the DotME registry,
“The DotME registry has a fantastic asset – its own reserve of premium names. In this instance, they are using a premium domain name in the best way, to help the people affected by the devastation wrought by Sandy.” He added, “we want to aid this program in any way we can.”
The help.me site was established in the days after Hurricane Sandy formed but nearly three weeks later, and after news coverage turned to the US election, the disaster has become less prominent in the news agenda.
DotME Registry CEO Predrag Lesic has asked web users to give as much as they can; and reminded them that this is still an ongoing disaster; “When a tragedy like this happens, we feel it is our duty to help. As an organisation, we are passionate about connecting people with the resources they need to make a positive change. Please give anything you can, every bit helps.”
Michele added: “It is easy to get distracted, but we must remember that there is nothing more valuable than our lives and the lives of those around us. This is one of the very best examples of a domain name being put to work to benefit fellow human beings and we look forward to the ways this might influence others to use their domains for a greater good.”