12 September 2017: Twenty-four hours after Hurricane Irma hit the West Indies, Inmarsat-sponsored Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) arrived in Guadeloupe to offer emergency telecoms support.
TSF finally obtained authorisation to deploy an Emergency Response Team to Saint-Martin by boat three days later.
Arriving on 11 September, they worked throughout the night to set up the first Global Xpress terminal in the island’s Coordination Centre.
Vital connectivity will allow relief workers to coordinate medical evacuations, provide urgent humanitarian assistance, and organise emergency accommodation for those affected by the most violent hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic.
Discussions are currently underway with the island’s authorities to install further connections across Saint-Martin, including the provision of internet access for isolated inhabitants.
A second TSF team has been dispatched to Saint-Barthélémy to work alongside relief bodies and rebuild family links across the island, offering free calls on IsatPhone 2 satellite phones to let families and loves ones know that they are safe.
TSF is the only Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in the world specialising in emergency telecommunications and new technologies.