Emergency Action Protocol
USI Study Abroad and Faculty-Led Travel Programs
Creating an Emergency Action Plan
Onsite Emergency Contact Card
Recommended Courses of Action in Case of an Emergency
Additional Actions for Risk Reduction
USI Study Abroad Risk Management
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice President for Student Affairs
Vice President for Advancement
Director, International Programs and Services
Coordinator, Travel Services
Definition of an Emergency
Definition of a Perceived Emergency
Perceived emergency results from events that are not immediately threatening to the health or safety of program participants, faculty or staff, but which may be viewed as such by family and friends at home, or by the media. In many instances, a perceived emergency must be treated as a real emergency.
Decision Making in Times of Crisis
The University will be prepared for two alternatives: continuing the program at an alternative site or closing the program. In deciding whether to move or close a program and evacuate the participants, the physical safety of the participants must be the paramount issue. The decision to terminate a program or evacuate the participants will be made by the Study Abroad Risk Management Task Force, in consultation with the program director, who should have the best understanding of the local conditions.
In the event of a crisis at or near the location of the specific program site location, the program director should be prepared to report on the following:
The program director should contact the nearest US Consulate to discuss the need for evacuation and any measures that the US is taking to evacuate its citizens. University staff will also contact other institutions with programs in that vicinity to discuss what actions they are taking. The vice presidents for Student Affairs and Academic Affairs will convene the Risk Management Task Force to decide the best course of action and make a decision about evacuation.
After the students have been evacuated to safety, the University will make academic and financial arrangements appropriate to the particular program at the time of its termination. Once a decision has been made to evacuate students, the University cannot be responsible for the safety of any student or staff member who refused to comply with the evacuation procedures arranged by the University.
Communicating in Case of an Emergency Abroad
The vice president for Advancement, via the director of News and Information Services, in consultation with the Risk Management Task Force, will coordinate all information released externally by the University associated with the incident and respond to all requests for information by media personnel. Faculty directors and USI study abroad staff should not seek contact with the press, since difficulties may arise when more than one source releases information to the media.
The vice president for Student Affairs (or designee) will contact the family of all students involved, officials, and on-site coordinators.
Notification of Next of Kin in Case of Death Abroad
In the event of death, it is the responsibility of the vice president for Student Affairs (or designee) to see that next of kin are appropriately and promptly notified. The appropriate embassy officials will take charge in the event of the death of a US citizen abroad. In most cases, the next of kin are contacted directly by the representatives of the US State Department or local authorities.
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