The services, resources and solutions provided by satellite communication technology often play an essential role in disaster relief efforts. Satellite-based technology is essential for relief efforts ranging from producing detailed images and surveys of an area affected by a storm, earthquake or other disaster to ensuring that relief workers are able to communicate in areas where conventional infrastructure may have been damaged or compromised. The following four examples all serve to highlight the most essential ways that satellite communication has made a difference in past relief efforts.
Real-time Imaging Disaster Sites
Assessing the true size and scope of a disaster can be quite challenging, especially in the early days following a major event. Satellite technology can provide detailed aerial images and real-time information on all areas and regions that may have been affected by a disaster. The ability to access current information on the state of an affected region can be of critical importance when it comes to organizing and directing relief efforts.
Providing Communication Between Various Agencies and Organizations
Large-scale disaster relief efforts may involve multiple agencies and organizations. Ensuring that relief workers are able to more easily and effectively communicate while in the field is often a matter of life and death. In situations where disasters have damage or even destroyed telephone lines, cellular towers and other infrastructure, satellite communication technology is often the only viable resource.
Assessing Future Threats
From aftershocks that may continue to strike following an earthquake to future rains and storms that may pose a threat to areas where hurricanes or flooding may have already taken place, satellite technology is essential for identifying threats and communication important information between relief organizations and civilian populations. Satellites are often crucial when it comes to monitoring any issues or concerns that may have the potential to compound the damage done by a recent disaster.
Restoring Basic Communication Services to Affected Areas
Depending on the size and scope of a disaster, recovery efforts may be ongoing for weeks or even months before basic services can be restored to affected areas. Situations where the communications infrastructure has been damaged, compromised or even destroyed by a disaster can leave huge numbers of people without the means to communicate with the outside world. Satellite communications services are often used to supplement conventional services until repairs can be made.
Satellites Are Essential to Relief Efforts
Satellites play numerous critical roles in relief efforts all over the globe. Access to effective communication and real-time information is of paramount importance following a disaster. Satellite communication ensures that relief workers are able to better direct their efforts, communicate between agencies and with civilian populations and to assess the full scope of a disaster and the issues that must be addressed in order to ensure a successful relief effort.