Dear INSARAG members,

Despite the difficult situation caused by the swiftly spreading COVID-19 pandemic, the INSARAG Secretariat continues to take steps to ensure that our essential services provided to people affected by major disasters will continue at the optimal level by finding new ways to continue our critical work in support of the people we serve in these challenging times.

The INSARAG Secretariat having consulted the Global and Regional chairs, and many members of the network, continues to explore avenues for INSARAG teams to update their operational status to deploy internationally should this be requested by an affected country in case of a major disaster.  Sharing information is a critical part of our response, and we very much appreciate the earlier response from INSARAG classified teams on their readiness for international deployment when this was requested, and now would like to ask the global network to contribute as well.

In order to facilitate the process, we have created the discussion “Emergency preparedness during COVID-19 - potential availability of relief teams” on the Virtual OSOCC, which you can access directly at: https://vosocc.unocha.org/rss/6783VOw_COVID19_Preparedness.html

I kindly request:

  1. INSARAG USAR teams create a team fact sheet in the discussion and indicate status “Stand-by” for those who are in principle prepared to deploy to a major disaster during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. All teams to update the status (“Stand-by” or “Stand-down”) in case of changes affecting their ability to deploy.

The consolidated information will serve as a “USAR reference directory” in the given context.

Your support during this challenging time is of the utmost importance. These are difficult times for everyone but together with the Global and Regional chairs, we have great confidence in our ability to adapt as we have done in the past 3 decades.

For further information, please contact insarag@un.org.

Thank you and best regards,