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ITU Guidelines for national emergency telecommunication plans

​​​​​Emergency Telecommunications and other Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are critical for disaster management and risk reduction. They are essential to monitor the underlying hazards and to deliver vital information to all stakeholders, including the most vulnerable societies at risk.

To leverage the power of ICTs for disaster management, national and international strategies must be in place. National policies, procedures and governance that enable the use of reliable and resilient ICT networks, services and platforms are required in all phases of disaster management. 

These procedures allow information sharing across all levels of government, within communities, and between public and private organizations to become more resilient to disasters.

National Emergency Telecommunications Plans (NETPs) are an essential requirement to articulate a national strategy on using ICTs in the framework of disaster risk reduction. The NETPs set out a strategy to enable and ensure communications availability during the disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery phases, by promoting coordination across all levels of government, engaging stakeholders to think through the life cycle of a potential disaster, determining the required capabilities for emergency responses, and establishing a governance framework of roles and responsibilities. The Plan also clarifies how to shape planning, envision and share desired outcomes, and it outlines effective ways to achieve and communicate expected results. 

For developing countries, the NETP highlights major areas of risk. This not only provides support and justification for the funding of vital equipment and personnel in an emergency, but also promotes the need for day-to-day resources and procedures that keep national authorities prepared, especially to maintaining vital communications, the essential lifeline during emergencies.​

These guidelines assists national authorities and policymakers to develop a clear, flexible and user-friendly framework that guide countries on how to develop a strategic plan to support and enable the continued use of telecommunication and information and communication technology (ICT) networks and services in all four disaster management phases. It not only describes the main elements that an NETP should consider, but also highlights its potential benefits. It includes a step-by-step guide to the development of an NETP, it serves as a useful resource based on ITU recommendations and concepts, as well as expertise from other global bodies and organizations.