While many people in the UK prepare for Christmas, a number of our members have been hard at work supporting disaster simulation exercises and delivering mapping training to our partners in different parts of the world.
UNDAC induction course in Ecuador
In the first week of December, three MapAction volunteers were in Riobamba supporting an UNDAC (United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination) disaster simulation exercise with maps and data visualisations.
The team worked hard to produce a large number of maps in a short space of time under realistic field conditions.
Earthquake simulation in Armenia
At the same time, two MapAction volunteers travelled to Yerevan, Armenia, to support the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group’s (INSARAG) regional earthquake response exercise with maps. This simulation exercise was particularly poignant, coinciding as it did with the 30th anniversary of the Spitak earthquake, which killed over 25,000 Armenians and injured over 130,000 more.
During the exercise, the MapAction team worked with an UNDAC team as well as collaborating with various Search & Rescue and Emergency Medical Teams from around the world.
Induction course in Indonesia
Meanwhile, in Bogor, Indonesia, two MapAction volunteers took part in another earthquake simulation exercise as part of the 10th Induction Course of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT). They mapped the exercise and provided a GIS refresher course.
We’ve worked closely with the ASEAN-ERAT team this year, having supported a number of training activities as well as four emergency responses (two in country and two remotely). It’s great to be strengthening our relationship with each new exercise, ensuring a very effective collaboration when circumstances demand it.
Humanitarian mapping course in Jamaica
Last week, a three-person MapAction team was in Jamaica delivering a humanitarian mapping course to emergency response coordinators from another close partner, CDEMA (the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency). This is part of a programme of longer term disaster preparedness we are working on with CDEMA supported by EU ECHO (the European Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations).
National mapping and data management training in Kyrgyzstan
A further two MapAction volunteers were in Bishkek last week to deliver a package of training on mapping, data collection and data management for national disaster management agencies.
This is part of our ongoing collaboration with CESDRR (the Central Asian Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction) which sees us helping to develop best practice for emergency data management across the region.
We’re very grateful to the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) for funding our participation in the Ecuador, Armenia, Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan activities and to EU ECHO for the Jamaica course.