Publication Date

1999

Abstract

There are few resources available that speak to the communication needs of Non-Governmental Organizations. The purpose of this paper is to explore the practical question: What are the most beneficial applications of technology within the Disaster Response NGO community? Its goal is to create a concise guide to available technology and its uses to create a more effective disaster response network. Through examination of available technologies and emerging technologies, the best tools are identified for disaster response. Personal computers, Internet technology, cellular telephony and satellite technology are all listed in detail with examples of beneficial applications in to the disaster response field. In addition, advances in communication are described and possible uses predicted. The conclusions reached are thus: technology is racing ahead fast and it is difficult for NGOs to keep up with the corporate business sector due to financial constraints, the high cost of retaining trained communications personnel, and the limited life of communications equipment when being used in a field situation. But the use of modern communication tools in Disaster Response can be an unending source of benefits when applied. New uses for communications technology will aid these NGOs and build a broader base of support through contact with the public.

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