Communication in emergency situations

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Communicationin emergency situations

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On 11th November, 2013, the Typhoon caused extensivedamage in central archipelago, Philippines. It was reported that ithad a wind speed of over 250 kilometers per hour, leading to stormdepressions of more than 5 meters. The disaster left more than 6000dead and over 500,000 displaced. The government appealed for aidsfrom the international community, to help with the refurbishment ofcommunication lines badly destroyed by the ill-fated storm. The RedCross also reported technicalities in its operations due to the poorcommunication system. As such, humanitarian assistance could notreach the already worst situation, leading to additional loss oflives and property.

According to CNN, poor communication played a role in increasing thedeath toll to 6000. In this case, the usage of wireless two-way radiocould have helped to mitigate some problems. Radio could havefacilitated communication since it does not depend on infrastructure.The gadget comes in handy as other infrastructure-dependenttelecommunication channels were hampered by the Typhoon. Apart frombeing used by the emergency providing agencies, other individualswith this equipment could have intercepted the waves to help innotifying about the disaster. This is vital in connecting emergencyagencies with their service delivery teams sent to areas affected bythe storms.

Theradio system is feasible thanks to its wide area of coverage, ease ofusage and affordability. Both one-way and two-way radios usebatteries, with the latter able to operate over long distances(Lerbinger O. 2012). Therefore, communication between emergencyservice providers on the ground and their offices is possible. Forindividual contacts in the hardest hit areas, the humanitarian teamscan apply the one-way radio given its ability for short-distancetransmission.


CNN (December 13, 2013), Typhoon Haiyan death toll tops 6,000 inthe Philippines, retrieved from August 31, 2016

Lerbinger O. (2012), The Crisis Manager: Facing Disasters,Conflicts, and Failures, Routledge

The inside story on emergencies, Philippine aid operationhampered by scale of destruction, retrieved from August 30, 2016

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