Only a small number of organizations are resourced to respond globally to the immediate needs of communities shattered by major natural disasters. The JTI Foundation is privileged to work with four such first-responding organizations.
In the hours that follow such disasters, these organizations often face similar challenges – including access, logistics and security.
Believing that opportunities must exist for its partners to share experiences for mutual benefit – the JTI Foundation hosted its first joint SAR and Disaster Relief Workshop on June 8 and 9, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey.
This Workshop provided a platform for participants to explore where operational synergies might lie: most obviously in sharing resources at times of deployment, but also in preparing for missions in areas such as training and logistics.
Day one of the Workshop enabled partners to introduce themselves, explore areas for potential cooperation, and to develop a road map for closer collaboration going forward. These included collaborating in training exercises, pooling contact information, and sharing experiences around crucial issues at times of deployment.
Day two’s highlight was a tour of GEA’s realistic training camp on the outskirts of Istanbul. GEA’s volunteers demonstrated their skills across a range of traditional and high-tech Search & Rescue techniques – including the trial deployment of drone mounted video-imaging equipment.
Since the Workshop, GEA and REDOG have concluded a protocol for joint international deployments and ShelterBox and GEA are likewise discussing opportunities for joint activities. REDOG has helped Peace Winds Japan develop its canine search & rescue team, and more recently all four organizations deployed in support for victims of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.