Next and Friends Roll to Gulfport

ATLANTA Next Marketing and several of its corporate partners equipped a mobile satellite communication truck and sent it to Gulfport, Miss., yesterday to help government workers involved in the disaster recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina, the shop said.

The 53-foot trailer is equipped with 50 laptop computers donated by Hewlett-Packard and a satellite Internet system that can provide 45 high-speed connections. CDW Corp. is providing technicians to operate the communications center for the next 60 days. Next provided the trailer, which usually is used at sporting events such as the Daytona 500 and Super Bowl as part of the Atlanta shop’s event marketing business.

Initially, the trailer will be used as a law enforcement command post before being reassigned as a disaster recovery operation center for federal, state and local teams. Next sent the same trailer to New York to serve as a command center at ground zero after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Next, along with Hewlett-Packard and CDW, began equipping the trailer Sept. 7 and offered it to the American Red Cross and FEMA. It took until this week for the federal government to determine how and where to use the equipment.

“Every individual and organization in the United States is capable of providing assistance to this unprecedented catastrophe in their own way,” said Henry Rischitelli, president of Next. “While the material, service and in-kind contributions from Next Marketing, CDW Corporation and HP certainly empowered the effort, it is the personal sacrifice of the crew that makes this mission possible.”