International Travel Emergency Preparedness Plan

International travel requires an emergency preparedness plan. Such a plan should be developed and customized based on the nature of the travel itself (i.e., whether leading a group of student or traveling solo, etc.) but below are some elements to consider and here is a link to a template from which you can start to base your plan.

Emergency Preparedness Plan Considerations

The written Emergency Preparedness Plan should be country and travel specific.

  • Identify likely, foreseeable emergencies (examples below), have a plan, and conduct appropriate emergency response training for participants and staff.

Civil unrest or other security-related issue 

  Communication device failure in remote locations

  Injury, illness or death of participants or group leaders

Need for others to contact participants

Need to unexpectedly return home

Participant or group leader behavioral issues

Theft or other crimes

Vehicle accidents or breakdown

Weather-related emergencies

  • Identify official and personal emergency contacts and set up a crisis phone tree (“who calls who”) in the event of an emergency

Develop a communication plan and back up (cell phone/satellite phone/laptop/etc.)

Develop meeting places for evacuation or gathering locations in emergency situations—city by city

Names and phone numbers of campus departments and dispatch and an afterhours contact from the sponsoring department

Names and phone numbers of emergency personnel (police, fire, ambulance, nearby urgent care and hospital)

Names and numbers of other important contacts, travel insurance company, airlines, in-country contacts, etc.

Names and phone numbers of participant emergency contacts

  • Prepare first aid kit and emergency kit with provisions, e.g. flashlight, batteries, blankets, water, bandages, energy bars, etc.
  • Implement security measures for participants, personal property and University-owned or leased property. Personal property (not University-owned) is the owners’ responsibility.
  • Provide and discuss with Group Leaders, Coordinators, Departmental Contact, Approving Authority, and other key persons an up-to-date copy of the written plan for the travel.
  • Determine cell phone coverage for areas, prior to travel. Special satellite phones may be an option for remote areas.
  • Participants should be involved in emergency planning to address their needs for appropriate assistance during a medical emergency as well as insure their familiarity with the plan.
  • Advise participants of potential issues that could arise from injury/illness situations so that they can properly plan for their specific needs (e.g. accessibility, allergies, medical insurance, medication, etc.).
  • Review language issues as they may apply to emergency situations
  • Retain documentation of the international travel including orientation materials, contracts, waivers, etc.
  • Passport and visas: Identify your emergency contact and have them keep photocopies of these documents (securely)
  • Financial contingency procedures for emergency needs
  • Crime: Determine country specific process for handling anticipated types of crimes and in-country emergency contact information
  • Weather-related emergencies: Be prepared for anticipated country specific types of weather emergencies
  • Transportation accidents or breakdown: Determine emergency contacts and procedures based on the applicable transportation methods
  • Loss or damage to College property: Contact Treasurer’s Office to file claim and get further direction;  If critical to trip, determine ability to replace and how soon
  • Loss or damage to personal property of participant: If critical to trip, determine ability to replace and how soon (note, College insurance does not cover personal property)
  • Behavioral and medical issues: Determine appropriate country specific procedures for behavioral and medical issues; If placing other participants/employees in danger, contact local police and/or Call parents or other emergency contact
  • Leader injury, illness, or death:
    • Create procedures for appropriate response;
    • Co-leader or assistant leader assumes the lead;
    • Consider participants safety during emergency and after if leader cannot continue;
    • Contact campus and department for assistance and guidance (campus safety can locate communications, student affairs and other stakeholders to assist in the emergency)
    • Contact parents or other emergency contacts, should this change the elements of the trip
    • Reassess risks to participants should the situation warrant changes, taking care not to place participants at unnecessary or heightened risk
  • Incident/Claim reporting—any incident should be reported to the Treasurer’s Office at the College including work related injuries or illnesses, auto, general liability, or property losses

Provide each College traveler with travel insurance information and have them register on the travel portal site.