Developing a Regional Disaster Emergency Communications Plan for the Pacific Islands
Leading Organization:NZAIDPacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA)
Implementing Agency and Partnering Organizations:Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) and NZAID
BACKGROUND: Unexpected natural and man-made disasters can occur any place, any time. An immediate response to organize and coordinate recovery operations rapidly is essential to save lives and restore the community infrastructure. These critical emergency activities depend upon the readily availability and access to telecommunication resources to support urgent communications. The Pacific region consists of thousands of islands scattered over approximately 54 million square kilometres of ocean most of which are with very basic communications access or none. Most of the scattered islands do not have resources to deal with disasters threatening human life and basic needs for life preservation and who will require relief assistance and possible evacuation. This also applies to Papua New Guinea which has to face remoteness of rural communities on the same “island” but with major geographical constraints. In the event of disasters, communicating information for any relief assistance, evacuation or for recovery operations becomes crucial and of utmost importance.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The objective of this project is to have available at a few central locations such as New Zealand, a disaster emergency communications package that is transportable via Airlift or ship with the logistical support of government authorities or army forces and that could be provided early for emergency and recovery communications, to critical locations where delays can cost lives. Objectives include: 1. To develop a regional disaster emergency communications package, to be transportable and easily deployable to any country in the Pacific region. 2. Further deployment to be considered of a few disaster emergency communications packages per “group” of countries for better responsiveness