INSARAG: Membership

How to become a member of INSARAG

Any country or organization with a stake in urban search and rescue is invited to join the network. Countries that are interested to joint the INSARAG network are requested to identify an INSARAG national focal point that acts as interface with the INSARAG Regional Group and the INSARAG Secretariat. Organizations wishing to apply for INSARAG membership can do so by addressing a request to the INSARAG Secretariat through their respective INSARAG National Focal Points. 

INSARAG member countries with USAR teams deploying internationally are strongly encouraged to apply for an INSARAG External Classification (IEC), however this is not a requirement to be a member of the INSARAG network. 

What does it mean to me a member of INSARAG?

INSARAG members are part of a worldwide knowledge-sharing network on collapsed structure rescue and operational field coordination. They are invited to annual meetings of the relevant INSARAG Regional Group and to participate in INSARAG working groups.  Furthermore, members have access to INSARAG’s information and knowledge-sharing tool, the “Virtual OSOCC” (Virtual On-Site Operations Coordination Centre - and the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS - on the internet, which provide alert notification in the event of a sudden-onset disaster and real-time information updates and coordination during ongoing disasters.

What are the responsibilities of INSARAG members?

As specified in GA Resolution 57/150 of 16 December 2002 and in the INSARAG Guidelines:

In disaster-affected countries:

  • Conducting damage and needs assessments as quickly as possible;
  • Specifying and prioritizing the nature of assistance required in the request for international assistance;
  • Facilitating immigration procedures for international relief personnel;
  • Designating a government entity with unique responsibility for coordinating international relief activities;
  • Providing information updates and requests immediately on the Virtual OSOCC;
  • Use the Reception Centre and OSOCC to facilitate the integration of international assets in the national response effort

Assisting countries means:

  • Deploying only USAR teams that comply with the INSARAG Guidelines;
  • Including capacity in USAR teams to be able to cooperate with, establish or strengthen the Reception Centre or OSOCC in the field;
  • Providing updates about their response on the Virtual OSOCC.


INSARAG Secretariat: Field Coordination Support Section (FCSS)/ Emergency Services Branch, OCHA-Geneva

FCSS Duty Officer (Emergencies Only) +41-22-917-1600
FCSS Fax Number +41-22-917-0023/ 0190 

Secretary of INSARAG
Mr Jesper Lund
Office +41-22 917 1783
Mobile +41-79 417 4166

INSARAG Worldwide

Winston Chang
Office +41-22 917 1173
Mobile +41-79 469 8588
Hanako Kataoka Hafiz (Administrative support)
Office +41-22 917 2385
Mobile +41-76 691 0018

INSARAG Pacific region

Ben Negus                                                          
Office: +41-22 917 1155
Mobile: +41-79 468 5950



Stefania Trassari

Office: +41 22 917 2815
Mobile: +41 76 691 0239


INSARAG Americas and Caribbean region

Christophe Schmachtel                                               
Office: +41-22 917 1684
Mobile: +41-79 449 4223

INSARAG Asia region

Yosuke Okita

Office: +41-22 917 3512
Mobile: + 41 76 691 0182


INSARAG Europe region

Lucien Jaggi

Office: +41- (0) 22 917 1893
Mobile: +41 - (0) 76 691 0226


INSARAG Middle East and Central Asia region

Jose Maria Garcia (ad-interim)

Office: + 41- (0) 22 917 1657
Mobile: + 41- (0) 76 691 0253