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«Therefore urges and highly recommends that building national, local and community capacity is critical for effective response to earthquakes, collapsed structure and other related emergencies in a rapidly urbanizing world, and welcomes the work undertaken by the INSARAG network to develop recommendations for operational and organisational guidelines for capacity building of national USAR teams, and encourage Member States to support such efforts.»

(INSARAG Hyogo Declaration paragraph no. 5, September 2010)

1. The INSARAG network is strongly encouraged to assist disaster prone countries in developing the capacity of their national USAR teams. In this context, the term «national USAR team» refers to a USAR team, which is employed at the national level but not encouraged to deploy internationally. This can be a governmental team or non-governmental team. INSARAG has utilized the experience gained both in the IEC process as well as in existing capacity building programs of its members to develop recommended organisational and operational standards for national USAR teams in order to provide Member States with guidance for the development of national USAR capacity.

2. The guidance is meant to provide globally accepted standards for national USAR teams to develop an operational and organisational capacity. By promoting common standards for national USAR teams, the INSARAG network aims to provide guidance for capacity building efforts as well as enhance the interoperability of national USAR teams with international teams in major emergencies within their countries.

3. Furthermore, the recommended standards for national USAR teams provide a valuable tool to the INSARAG community to promote and disseminate the INSARAG guidelines and methodology to the vast majority of USAR teams worldwide that are for national use.

4. The organisational and operational guidelines for national USAR teams are developed as a guidance document for capacity building of national teams so that there are common operational standards around the world. Countries with INSARAG IEC classified international USAR teams are strongly encouraged to assist the capacity building process in developing countries and provide guidance to other national teams in their own country.

5. Countries are encouraged to adopt (at the appropriate level) the INSARAG organisational and operational guidelines for capacity building of national USAR teams as a target achievement for its national USAR teams and to adopt appropriate processes for the confirmation of achievement of these standards.

6. The confirmation of achievement of the capabilities of a national USAR team is the responsibility of the national authorities of the concerned country.

7. When a national USAR team meets the target of the organisational and operational guidelines, the country is encouraged to inform the INSARAG Secretariat through its INSARAG national focal point. The INSARAG Secretariat will register this team as «nationally classified USAR team» at the level of light, medium or heavy in the USAR Directory.

8. If a Government wishes to ask for support in this process, it can contact the INSARAG Secretariat or the INSARAG Regional Group for further advice.

9. Any external confirmation is voluntary, optional and complementary to national processes and is not to be confused with the INSARAG IEC process. For a USAR team that is planned to deploy internationally, the INSARAG IEC process remains as the only classification system.

The checklist and details of the INSARAG Organisational and Operational Guidelines for Capacity Building of National USAR Teams can be found at the INSARAG Guidelines Chapter G.