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Praying for my colleagues at Union University February 6, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Friends, News, Photography, Random, Web.
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Union University Campus

Last night several tornadoes hit in and around Jackson, Tennessee, USA. One of those tornadoes ripped right through the campus of Union University. It is estimated that 40% of the residential housing (dorms) are beyond salvage and can’t be used any longer.

About six years ago I stayed in one of those dorms (pictured above) while attending a CCCU technology conference hosted by Union University. The amount of damage to buildings, cars, and personal property is staggering.

Union University fireman cuts beam

As an I.T. professional I immediately began to think of what their I.T. staff would be doing and wondered what they might need in order to get things online. Their e-mail and web servers were not online (or at least not responding to my attempts at reaching them).

I was able to reach the local newspaper’s website which provided some information, including the emergency (temporary) website set up on a public blog server. That site then linked me to the flickr photo log showing the extent of the damage.

Union University Tornado Damage

By the end of the day my fellow I.T. Director at Union University sent an e-mail to the professional list I’m on and confirmed that their I.T. infrastructure was mostly intact. Their greatest I.T. problem was getting power in a city where the utilities were ripped out and may be out of service for many days. They were able to get a generator to help get critical servers online and planned to get a much bigger server to help get the campus some power for additional services.

At least now their main website (www.uu.edu) and e-mail servers are back online.

Union University debris

For now, they do not need any I.T. people or additional network or computer equipment. So, I and my colleagues across America remain in “standby mode” and stay where we are — feeling somewhat helpless. Well, not totally helpless because we can pray for them and all of the students, faculty, and staff at Union University.

To our colleagues at Union University, please know that you are in our prayers today and we will continue to pray for you in the days ahead.

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