NetHope will be conducting a Disaster Preparedness Training in mid-July. Visit our blog from July 18 to the end of the month as we provide updates directly from the field as this training unfolds. Interesting interviews with participants and trainers, photos, videos, and more will detail the work being performed by NetHope members and tech partners.


Although we can’t always predict when disasters will occur, we can be prepared for when they do. Responding to past natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, has honed the skills of NetHope and our member organizations and tech partners. By letting these past experiences—both good and bad—inform our processes, NetHope is using these lessons to model preparedness plans and training for future disasters.

As the Atlantic/Caribbean hurricane season has begun, now is the time to begin preparations. To this end, NetHope is launching a Disaster Preparedness Training to take place in Panama. This intensive training opportunity will entail two, four-day sessions in July, with the first session July 18-21 and the second July 25-28. 

In Puerto Rico, NetHope and its consortium of nonprofit humanitarian members and tech partners were on the scene, restoring connectivity for responders and island residents. – Photo by Pam Miller

The main function of the training is to build a roster of skilled first responders and standby volunteers; discover and fill any gaps in technology or talent; and be better prepared to sharpen the process for connectivity solutions in this region and beyond.

The training incorporates classroom work coupled with real-life scenarios played out in real-time in the field.

NetHope members participating include:

  • SOS Children’s Villages
  • CARE
  • Catholic Relief Services,
  • Christian Aid
  • International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent
  • Medical Teams International
  • Mercy Corps
  • Plan International
  • Save the Children
Tech partners include:
  • Cisco Tactical Operations unit (TacOps)
  • Ericsson Response
  • UN’s Emergency Telecom Cluster
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Microsoft
  • Red52
Facebook, Google, and Amazon Web Services are sending groups of employees for the intense training which also readies them for quick deployment when required.

Trainers with extensive experience in emergency response deployments will run the training. These include NetHope’s Rami Shakra; Icelandic Association of Search and Rescue members Dagbjartur Brynjarsson, Gisli Olafsson, and Ingolfur Haraldsson; and Crissy Gordillo with Cisco coordinating logistics. Other training partners include Matt Altman, Chase Nebeker, Sue-Lynn Hinson, and Jeffry Handal from Cisco TacOps; Mark Hawkins and Cristian Alfaro from Save the Children; LP Svensson from Ericsson Response; and Dario Sanchez Oceguera from RED52.

Participants will be simulating a real emergency scenario, as if it were actually unfolding, partnered up in tents, eating MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), and using their technical and strategic expertise to plan and execute emergency connectivity in the field. In this part of the world, emergencies are inevitable. This training ensures that, when they occur, NetHope, its members, and its tech and funding partners will be better prepared to help deliver solutions that will save lives and support vulnerable populations.

Special thanks to The Patterson Foundation and all of NetHope’s tech partners for their financial support.

We invite you to join in us supporting disaster preparedness.

Filed Under: Caribbean Disaster Preparedness, Connectivity, Emergency Response, Hurricane Relief, Information as Aid, Projects, Utilization of Technology