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Florida Patent Application Pending on Hurricane Help Network

The Sun-Herald reports that southwest Florida entrepeneurs are launching a hurricane self-help network, prompted by the last two hurricane seasons and the government’s limited ability to provide relief.   The pair of Entrepeneurs, Kelly Sedgewick and Melanie DeStout, have started marketing a private-sector initiative to lessen the impact during storm evacuations.   The business is called Hurricane Buddy LLC, an internet-based “matchmaking” company that attempts to pair storm evacuees with hosts in safe areas. Participants are initially asked to register on the company’s website, www.hurricanebuddy.com, answer a detailed questionnaire, and pay the annual $79.95 registration fee.   DeStout and Sedgewick sought patent protection for their business in 2005. After seaching public records to determine that the concept was apparently unique, they decided to patent the Hurricane Buddy business method.   Although patenting business practices is a rela