Telecommunications crucial when disaster strikes

Debris Field

Hurricane Sandy aftermath, November 2012, Union Beach, New Jersey, United States of America. Photo by Liz Roll/FEMA

Recent events have clearly demonstrated the need for telecommunications networks to be resilient to natural and human-induced disasters, as they are critical to rescue efforts and restoring normality in the wake of disasters.

The third and last side event – 23 November, 18h00, Room E – will review aspects of network resilience and telecoms infrastructure recovery following disasters and how these requirements can be reflected in ICT standardization. In addition, the panel will showcase ICTs supporting disaster relief for individuals (e.g., to enable victims to notify next of kin) and disaster relief guidance (e.g., to guide those affected to evacuation shelters or hospitals).

Opening remarks will be delivered by Mr Hideo Fuseda, Director, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan. Mr Noriyuki Araki, Chairman of ITU-T Focus Group on disaster relief systems, network resiliency and recovery, will share experiences from the Great East Japan Earthquake and introduce recent R&D activities on technologies for network resilience and recovery. Mr Leo Lehmann, a Focus Group Vice-chairman, will give an overview of related work in ITU and other organizations.

The next official meeting of the Focus Group on disaster relief systems, network resiliency and recovery will take place 11-13 December 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey, kindly co-hosted by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, Turkey, and Istanbul Technical University. A workshop on disaster relief will take place on the first day (11 December), and both the workshop and the Focus Group meeting will be free of charge and open to non-members of ITU.

Details are available on the Focus Group website.

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