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INSARAG: 30 years of urban search and rescue

26 Jun 2020

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INSARAG by UN Humanitarian on Exposure

For the past 30 years, the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) has deployed and coordinated search-and-rescue teams to save lives when an earthquake hits a country and causes massive structural damage.

INSARAG has become a model for humanitarian assistance, with over 90 Member States and organizations. The INSARAG network now includes teams in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Americas. Its global reach enables it to push predictable, speedy and flexible search-and-rescue responses in crises.

Following two major earthquakes in Mexico City in 1985 and Armenia in 1988, the search and rescue community met for after action reviews in 1990 and 1991 and agreed that a network organisation looking at common quality standards for international coordination and response be established – this gave birth to INSARAG !

To mark INSARAG’s thirtieth anniversary, we look back on some of its key achievements.