Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., SBC Communications Inc., Dell Inc. and others are offering money, equipment and skills to build voice and data communications for the Red Cross to help link together hundreds of evacuation shelters.

"It has to be a very robust communications tool that all the shelters can use to communicate with each other and with headquarters," said Intel spokeswoman Jennifer Greeson.

"The Red Cross has a good infrastructure, but they're relying on the tech industry to step up," Greeson said. "Basically, `This is what we need, go make it happen.'" Hundreds of tech workers will be mobilized to the evacuation centers to help.