Responsibility for the US Government’s response to international disasters rests with the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), part of USAID. Responsibility for making sure OFDA is ready to go when disaster strikes rests, in part, with Globecomm.
OFDA’s mission requires a streamlined day-to-day operational capacity – but the ability to respond fast and effectively to disasters anywhere in the world. In other words, OFDA needs to the ability to get from zero to sixty and back again in the least possible time. To help make that possible, Globecomm developed an Operations Center in Arlington, Virginia. It provides warehousing and deployment of information and communications technology, and is staffed by Globecomm operational teams who are ready on 30 minutes’ notice to support workstations, laptops, iPhones, Blackberries and applications for all OFDA staff and contractors.
When a disaster is declared, Globecomm’s Communications Officer quickly assembles a detailed plan that includes the landscape of the disaster area, its infrastructure, and available communications, power, transportation, security and housing. The plan determines the deployment of equipment and staff assignments. The Operations Center maintains enough equipment to support eight concurrent disaster response and management teams, plus ongoing individual deployments of OFDA personnel. Globecom’s field support teams are ready for deployment on four hours’ notice.