Safety and Risk Management Plan for IBSG Programs Abroad
- We will register all students immediately with the U.S. consulate or embassy (and, for international students, with their country’s consulate). We will provide the consulate with a list of the students’ names and addresses and with emergency numbers for the director (program manager) and all members of the staff. A photocopy of page one of the passport of each student will be included with this registration.
- The director or assistant director (program manager) will be designated as a “Warden” by the consulate and should receive emails on any alerts, announcements, etc. from the U.S. State Department. We will ensure that U.S. consular officials know how to reach director and assistant director day and night.
- We will prepare a list with local emergency numbers to be kept in the program office in a visible, known location, including telephone and fax numbers for the United States consular and embassy officials and for Study Abroad office at UNM. At all times the director should have with him/her a list of students’ cell phone and home phone numbers in the host country and the USA. We will establish and maintain contact with the local police near the program office and with any organizations of student international programs.
- We will provide each student with a wallet-sized card with telephone numbers of the director and the assistant director (including home and mobile, if possible) and other appropriate emergency contact numbers.
- We will keep on file sources of information and key contacts for arranging evacuation if it becomes necessary. We will identify a trusted travel agency and a transportation company in case the students need to be evacuated. The program manager will familiarize him/herself with possible exit routes and means of transportation for students in case of an emergency or crisis.
- We will ensure that all programs have sufficient funds to pay for a range of emergency situations, including quick evacuation form the country. Each program will have an in-country banking/credit card. UNM maintains a financial “cushion” for each program. Program administrators may also wish to avail a university corporate credit card.
- If we are in a high risk period, we will advise students to have a cellular phone connected 24 hours a day except during class time if class time is part of the program. We will ensure that each student has her/his passport and visas, as well as photocopies of same. Directors will consider whether it might be best for the project manager to have in hand all return tickets, in the event that the director has to arrange for emergency evacuation. We will identify students who have special needs (mobility issues, physical or emotional health concerns, etc.) and formulate plans to accommodate them. We will go over the advice about safe comportment with students and let them know all the plans that are being formulated in the event of an emergency.
- In case of any incident or emergency that may have implications for U.S. students, the director will call the American consulate and ask them for advice on any special precautions that are necessary at this time. The director will check the U.S. State Department web site, and consider contacting the consulate before group excursions if there are regional safety concerns. The director will contact national organizations for study abroad programs or make direct contact with other colleges’ study abroad programs.
- When there is any international or in-country emergency, the director will immediately contact Study Abroad at UNM. Bear in mind that we may be receiving calls from parents and we need to have accurate information from you to respond to them. The director will communicate with Study Abroad preferably before taking, or as s/he takes, any steps that change the operation of the program (e.g., having students stay with host families, canceling a field trip, etc.). In such emergencies, Study Abroad has an email list of parents of students who are on our programs; we are able to provide them with very current and detailed information about planning and responses on each program.
- Directors will keep a written log of all actions taken in emergency situations (involving individual students or the entire group), making good notes each day detailing what has happened, what steps were taken, with whom staff members spoke, what follow-up actions were necessary. Note the time of each event and the time you are recording the notes.
- When talking with the students, directors will ask them to take the following precautions: Avoid congregating at American hangouts such as bars, restaurants, clubs, stores, etc. that might be targets for terrorists.
- Avoid speaking loudly in English when walking in groups. They should speak in the local language at all times if possible. If not be discreet about language usage.
- Avoid dressing in ways that identify them readily as Americans (e.g., baseball caps on backwards, American College sweat shirts).
- Exercise care on how much information they give to strangers about themselves and our program (activities, excursions) and its location.
- Tell them to be discrete and avoid any personal opinions on political or religious issues. Advise them to inform you of any travel plan outside of the program city: where are they going, means of transportation, where they can be reached (address, phone number), when they will be back. They also must discuss any individual travel with their parents.
- Remind them that in the event of a crisis, they will be instructed not to travel independently and to remain at a location where they can be reached.
- Keep abreast of local news through TV, radio, and newspapers.
IBSG Travel Waiver Form
Please download, sign, and return the waiver form below for private travel.