In Caribbean countries, modern telecommunications infrastructure is vulnerable to an array of natural disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes, and mud slides. At the same time, telecommunications services - especially mobile telephony and data services - can provide invaluable support to disaster management efforts by facilitating communication, coordination, and intelligence collection during emergency situations. Thus, as a matter of public safety, ensuring the resilience of telecommunications infrastructure in the face of natural hazards is of national importance.
One way this resilience can be enhanced is by strengthening the relationship between operators of telecommunications services and national disaster offices. ECLAC has identified numerous areas for engagement between these entities, including the need for improvements to information sharing practices, collaboration on public early warning systems, and the inclusion of telecommunications operators in disaster drilling exercises. ECLAC recommends the development of more formalized frameworks for mutual support between telecommunications operators and national disaster offices, and offers its assisstance in helping to strengthen and operationalize these relationships.