27 May 2014: A simulated disaster response exercise has been carried out in Haiti as part of Télécoms Sans Frontières’ (TSF) ongoing work to ensure that systems are in place should a natural disaster strike again.
When a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Inmarsat-sponsored telecoms agency TSF was one of the first responders on the scene to help.
Inmarsat’s satellite network and equipment enabled TSF to restore vital communication lines in order to coordinate rescue efforts and help survivors find and contact loved ones.
With 350 million people affected by the quake and an estimated death toll of 220,000, TSF returned to the country later that year to make sure it could be as prepared as possible should a similar catastrophe happen again.
Four years on, TSF continues to support Haiti and has installed emergency response satellite equipment kits throughout the country, which include Inmarsat BGAN broadband terminals and IsatPhone Pro satellite phones.
The kits have been donated to the National Association of the Scouts of Haiti under the coordination of the National Civil Protection Department.
TSF’s latest simulation exercise envisaged a violent hurricane sweeping throughout the capital Port-au-Prince – one of the most damaged areas in 2010 – with all means of communication cut.
The local responders were then able to test Inmarsat’s satellite equipment and carry out the practical training exercises taught by TSF.
“Télécoms Sans Frontières is not only one of the world’s leading emergency response organisations, but also a body that uses its expertise, knowledge and experience to train other relief organisations in emergency preparedness and response,” said TSF President Jean-François Cazenave.
“In order to maintain the efficiency of local responders trained by TSF, we insist that regular simulations are held, such as the one that took place in Haiti in May. These simulations put into practice real-life situations, allowing relief workers to apply the skills that they have acquired using Inmarsat emergency response equipment provided by TSF.
“Vulnerable countries such as Haiti need to be prepared in the best way possible for eventualities such as the earthquake which devastated the country back in 2010. Since then, thanks to such simulations, TSF is able to identify the importance of the training and how to further improve the needs of emergency responders across the globe.”
Télécoms Sans Frontières: www.tsfi.org