Yahoo co-founder David Filo took a personal interest in helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, where he attended Tulane University. After realizing that there was no one Web site people could go to to look for missing people or try to find friends and family who were uprooted in the tragedy, Filo wrote a metasearch engine to index all the disparate related Web sites. Thus was born Yahoo's Katrina People Finder site.
The site has registered about 650,000 searches since it went online Sept. 4, said Jeremy Johnston, whose title is Technical Yahoo. Yahoo partnered with SBC to set up a computer lab at the Houston Astrodome to help people affected by the disaster connect with others, he said.
Yahoo is not the only company helping with the hurricane relief efforts. Google has launched a similar site, called Katrina People Search, and Lycos has created one as well.