Protocol for Terrorism or Natural Disaster

Although not frequent, natural disasters and, or terrorist activity, can occur when traveling internationally. It is prudent for all cross-cultural and service trip leaders to plan in advance for a possible crisis situation so that students and educators will know how to respond in the event of a natural disaster or terrorism. This would include:

 Pre-departure: Make sure students know in advance:

  • Discuss with students in advance what they should do if terrorism or natural disaster would occur (who to contact, where to meet)
  • Establish a central meeting place (a location to shelter in place or to regroup)
  • Provide students with instructions on how to contact the leader (text, email, phone call).

If an incident occurs: Make sure students are safe and accounted for:

Stay calm- students will take their cue from you.
  • Immediately make contact with all students to:
    • Ask them to provide their location and their safety status.
    • Give them instructions on where to meet up with the group.
  • Evaluate physical and psychological condition of students.
  • Obtain medical treatment if needed.
  • Find a location to “shelter in place” or move students to a safe location as appropriate.
  • Contact the GFU Center for Study Abroad Office 503-550-3299 or GFU Campus Public Safety 503-554-2090.
  • The Study Abroad Office will communicate with the appropriate GFU administrators and the International Risk Management Team.
  • The Study Abroad Office and the trip leaders will be in communication as the best way to proceed.
  • Work with the Study Abroad Office to determine what correspondence needs to go to families and other offices on campus.
  • Once the safety of all students is confirmed the Study Abroad office will contact family members who the student has indicated as their emergency contact.
  • Notify the closest US Embassy.
  • Determine if you have adequate food, housing, water and access to medical treatment and for how long.
  • Consider multiple methods of communication with students and campus since in a crisis situation telephone, cell phone, or electricity may be compromised.
  • Keep accurate and complete notes for when you file your incident report.
  • Note any imminent risk to students, advice from US Embassy, curfew or travel restrictions imposed by host city.
  • Once situation is stabilized – Follow up to ensure continued support.
  • Work with the Study Abroad Office and the GFU Health and Counseling Center to determine what, if any, emotional support is needed.
  • Upon return file an incident report with the Center For Study Abroad.  Send copy to Campus Public Safety.
  • If contacted by the media, please refer all requests for interviews the GFU Marketing Communications.
  • If it is determined that the group must return home, leaders need to work with their travel agent and the Center for Study Abroad office on the arrangements.