Aidex Voices

AidEx 2016 exhibitor Barrett Communications has a 40-year history of innovation in radio communications, working together with numerous countries and organisations to enable speedy, targeted disaster response. Through its new partnership with Rainbow Radio League, the company is providing local volunteers with the tools they need to ensure effective disaster response in the hurricane belt.

St Vincent and the Grenadines may seem like paradise on earth, but their location makes them extremely vulnerable both to hurricanes and tsunamis – not to mention the fact that St Vincent hosts the largest active volcano in the Caribbean. 

When a natural disasters strikes, trees are uprooted, many roads become impassable and power supplies cut out. Amidst the destruction, radio communication is crucial to identify the scale and nature of damage on the ground and to ensure an effective disaster response.

A leader in its field, Barrett Communications understands this need better than most. Over the years, it has built up solid international partnerships to help deliver humanitarian relief. Delivering 120 radio systems to the Nepalese army and bringing forward a 10-day training programme for soldiers when the earthquake struck Nepal is one such example.

Luckily, it didn’t take a natural disaster to strike up the partnership between Barrett Communications and non-profit organisation Rainbow Radio League (RRL). When RRL executive director Donald De Riggs’s called for “state-of-the-art” communication technology to help save more lives, Barrett Communications team was the first one to step forward.

The resulting partnership shows the worthy contribution that private sector support can bring to grassroots disaster relief efforts. 

RRL’s team of radio operators trained in damage assessment, needs analysis and first aid are essential for the islands’ preparedness and response, carrying out regular training sessions to set up radio field stations and assess territories. If disaster hits, their knowledge of the terrain and strong connections to the local coast guard and emergency services make them one of the first ports of call in a storm.

Yet their ability to provide rapid disaster response communications hinges on reliable and easily operable technology so that targeted relief can be delivered as speedily and efficiently as possible.

A Barrett Communications donation of 12 radios and 14 accompanying solar panels to charge them will make a much-needed contribution to RRL’s activities. 
The radio equipment’s’ ability to run independently without the need for local infrastructure makes it an invaluable resource where power lines have been cut, making it the only source of effective post-disaster communication. On top of this, the equipment is intuitive and requires very little training -allowing RRL volunteers to communicate quickly and easily in an emergency.

It is easily operable and highly sophisticated technology like this that makes it possible for local volunteers on the ground to successfully carry out their activities and to ensure that more lives are saved through targeted and rapid emergency response.