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close this bookEmergency Information Management and Telecommunications - 1st Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1997, 62 p.)
close this folderPart 2: Emergency telecommunications13
View the document(introduction...)
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental emergency telecommunications concerns
View the documentTypology of telecommunications technologies
View the documentStrategic (worldwide or global) telecommunications systems
View the documentTactical (short-range or local) telecommunications systems

Typology of telecommunications technologies

Emergency managers confront a wide range of telecommunications system options, generally categorized as either strategic or tactical systems. The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA)17 defines these terms as follows:


Strategic: telecommunications between the affected location, country or region and the “outside world”, including headquarters of institutions providing international assistance and donor governments (ie, worldwide or global systems); and


Tactical: telecommunications among the partners on location, such as rescue teams, and with the local and national institutions who have the primary responsibility for rendering assistance (ie, local or short-range systems.)

17 Zimmerman, Hans, “Emergency Telecommunications for Humanitarian Aid”, a paper presented to the World Telecommunications Forum, Strategies Summit, Telecom 95, Geneva, 1995.

Adopting this system of categorization, the following sections cover the advantages and disadvantages of various strategic and tactical telecommunications systems.18

18 Much of the material on particular system advantages and disadvantages in this section is from Disaster Telecommunications, a book by Mark Wood of “The Disaster Relief Telecommunications Foundation” released in June 1996. Readers are encouraged to refer to this well-detailed background document for additional information on each system.