IT donations for Qld flood relief on the rise

Just 10 days after its inception, Queensland IT Relief has already secured donation pledges of more than 700 PCs from the local IT industry for schools, small businesses and community groups affected by the floods in the state.

The organisation’s program director, Lewis Benge, said the organisation had received backing from a number of IT companies including back-end logistics support from services company Datacom, software licences for all refurbished PCs from Microsoft, and technical resources from Data#3.

More than 150 IT professionals had volunteered their time and skills to date from organisations such as Queensland University of Technology, Queensland Police and other government agencies.

To date, 150 PCs have been dispatched for an initiative run by Nova FM, which involves the radio station donating two floors of its Brisbane office as a business centre, available to small businesses whose IT had been destroyed by the floods.

According to Benge, small businesses have by far been the most eager to take up Queensland IT Relief’s donations with about 20 registering their interest so far.

“We’ve received servers, [multi-function printers], desktops… we’re basically taking in anything people will offer as a lot of the requests we are receiving are from small businesses whose whole offices have been wiped out,” he said.

Benge said most organisations affected by the floods were still in disaster recovery phase, and it could take a number of months for businesses, schools and community groups to return to normal.

“We are looking at potentially running this for six months and in that time, we will continue to stockpile PCS and if it turns out we have too many PCs, we will offer them to individuals in need,” he said.

“In six months most businesses will either have come to us for equipment, have gone through their insurers or be bankrupt… six months without any IT infrastructure for a small business would be devastating.”

To date, HP had made a donation of PCs but the organisation was hopeful other PC vendors, such as Acer and Lenovo, would follow suit, Benge said.

Businesses, sole traders, schools, and community groups which have lost IT equipment in the flood can register and request gear online.

Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @TLohman

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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