Affiliations: Communications Research Centre Canada, 3701 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K2H 8S2, Canada Tel.: +1 613 998 2717; Fax: +1 613 990 6339; E‐mail: [email protected] | Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada Tel.: +1 604 2914921; Fax: +1 604 465 8797
Note:  Corresponding author. www.crc.ca.
Abstract: The role of telecommunications in general throughout an emergency management situation is outlined. No single telecommunications system can meet all emergency management needs. Consequently, interoperability among systems and protocols is a major issue. The increasing use of Internet Protocol based applications has alleviated some of those concerns. However, because space based technologies are in widespread use for management of most major events, and since Internet Protocol is intolerant of high latency, satellite‐specific techniques to mitigate latency should be adopted. The increasing use of the Global Positioning System for personnel and asset tracking is noted. The paper concludes by providing an overview of Canadian solutions to three differing disaster scenarios: a specific threat to a specific region; emergencies requiring communication with moving vehicles by satellite; and a system having a full feature set which can be transported to a major incident site. Created through three independent projects, these systems provide Canada with broad communications capabilities for meeting the needs imposed by disasters.