At the onset of a disaster, the ETC looks at the situation on the ground, asking questions like:
- What voice and data services are available for the humanitarian community?
- How are the residents going to communicate with each other?
- What technology, like the power grid and satellite coverage, is still working?
- What do government and local partners need to do their job?
- What options, such as solar panels or unmanned aircraft systems, are available to us?
Next, the ETC makes recommendations to set up the communication ‘backbone’.
A collaboration forum is held to share common approaches, access common tools and share best practices with government and humanitarian partners.
The dedicated ETC Coordinator is the link between the NGO community and the ETC, whose job is to issue regular Situation Reports (SitReps), factsheets, operational document summaries, and global information update teleconferences; survey and share user satisfaction so that services can be improved; and liase with the ETC communications team to share photos, feature stories, blog posts, and social media with the public and donors.