DMort Base Case

By Elizabeth Bennett  |  Posted 2005-12-06 Print this article Print

With the bodies of 270 Hurricane Katrina victims lying unidentified in a morgue, a database intended to help medical examiners make IDs is coming up short.

Headquarters: 500 C St. SW, Suite 713, Washington, DC 20472
Phone: (202) 646-4580
Incident Commander: Charles Smith
Business: The Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, or Dmort, is made up of 10 regional teams. Each consists of medical, forensic and mortuary professionals. It is deployed when disaster strikes to identify the deceased and determine their cause of death.
Challenge: Assist in the rapid recovery and identification of 1,086 people who died in New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina.
  • Set up a temporary morgue, staffed by medical, forensic and mortuary professionals from a five-state area, within one week after the hurricane hit.
  • Identity 100% of the 1,086 bodies at New Orleans' morgues. Goal not met; more than 270 bodies remain unidentified as of Nov. 28.
  • Determine the whereabouts of 4,748 people who were reported missing by family and friends, down from 10,633 as of early September.

Senior Writer
Elizabeth has been writing and reporting at Baselinesince its inaugural issue. Most recently, Liz helped Fortune 500 companies with their online strategies as a customer experience analyst at Creative Good. Prior to that, she worked in the organization practice at McKinsey & Co. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College.

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