2 September 2016: United Nations workers in Costa Rica are being trained by Inmarsat-sponsored emergency telecoms agency Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) on the support functionality of On-Site Operations Coordination Centres (OSOCC) – a United Nations UN methodology deployed in an emergency.
TSF plays a very import role is showing the UN Disaster Assessment Coordination body how to deal with the critical communication demands they would face in the event of a disaster, and how satellite connectivity would be used to respond to their communication needs when local lines are down.
These centres are the first port of call for aid agencies and search and rescue units, and as such are vital hubs for centralising all the information necessary for a speedy and effective response.
“Telecommunications are a critical element in the functioning of an OSOCC in situations where the terrestrial network is often interrupted and yet the need to communicate is more important than ever,” said TSF spokesman Alexander James Thomas.
Since 2006, TSF has been partnering with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) to ensure that its centres are equipped with Inmarsat BGAN satellite terminals, ICT equipment and the expertise necessary to give victims the best chance of survival.
A team from TSF’s base in Mexico is sharing its knowledge at the week-long training session for liaison officers, team leaders, national emergency managers, cluster coordinators, NGO coordinators, UNDAC members and technical support staff which concludes with a two-day disaster simulation exercise.