The information in this section will help you plan and implement actions in the event of a crisis.
The best way to cope with crises is to plan and prepare for them. Here are a few things you can do to limit the chances of them happening and to limit the impact when they do:
- Make copies or keep records of all important documents (passport, visas, driving licence, credit cards, medical cards, marriage/birth certificates etc.). Leave a copy with someone in your home country.
- Develop an emergency plan (if a certain thing happened, what would you do? Who would you call? i.e. a death in the wider family, a medical emergency, a car accident, a house fire, a burglary whilst you're asleep in the house, family suddenly being separated/children getting lost, theft of your laptop or wallet/purse, civil unrest, natural disasters). Think through what you would do and communicate it to the rest of your family
- Make an inventory of all your items (left at home and taken with you).
- Label everything (inside and out, if possible)
- Always be security cautious (keep things locked, out of temptation's view, don’t draw attention to yourself, keep info private, shred or burn paperwork)
- Register with the embassy or consulate in the place your are staying. That way they can contact you in an emergency.
Visit the nearest British Consulate or Embassy (see www.embassyworld.com or www.fco.gov.uk)
You'll need two recent passport photos, the police report, some proof of identity and money for the fee
Lost plane tickets:
You may have to pay for a ticket and claim the money later
If any insurance claim is to be made, notify the insurance company as soon as possible and keep all documentation and receipts
Lost Credit Cards/Travellers Cheques:
Notify the police as soon as possible
Contact the 'lost or stolen' number given by the provider of the card/cheques
Further help on what to do can be found at www.fco.gov.uk
Articles related to Crisis Management
First RockFirst Rock provides Crisis Management, Hostile Environment Training, Security Surveys and Operational Assistance for the Missionary and Faith-based Aid Agency community more>>
Tel: 07809 689987
The Headington Institute provides psychological and spiritual support to relief and development workers worldwide. They specialize in:
- Training workshops and education materials to help humanitarian workers understand and cope with traumatic stress
- Orientation and debriefing
- Consulting on effective staff care strategies
The Humanitarian Training Inventory (HATI)HATI is intended as a central information and exchange resource on training activities and materials in the field of humanitarian assistance.
Tel: 020 7217 3717
MMCT exists to strengthen the mission community for healthy, loving service in the midst of challenge, change and crisis through a ministry of equipping, preserving and restoring missionaries.
MMCT-WA was launched in May 2000 and was located in Abidjan , Côte d'Ivoire from that time until December 2002 when the civil war forced them to relocate. They are now centrally located in Accra, Ghana and serve the 14 countries from Senegal to Nigeria .
MMCT-WA provides training through the following workshops:
- Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills
- Peer Response Training (crisis response for peers)
- Member Care while Managing Crises (crisis response for mission leaders)
Tel: ++ 233 302 77 48 82 (GHANA)
People in AidPeople In Aid lists a broad range of courses relating to risk assessment, health & safety and security. Courses listed are open to staff from agencies and individuals. Some are designed specifically by and for those working in the international aid sector, others are designed primarily by and for the UK voluntary or public sectors but cover topics likely to be relevant to people working in the aid sector too. (The website is in process of being redesigned, an update of current courses is available by contacting People In Aid directly).
Tel: 020 7065 0900
RedRRedR relieves suffering in disasters by selecting, training and providing competent and effective personnel to humanitarian aid agencies world-wide. They provide training courses on security issues, amongst other topics. Courses take place both in the UK and in other areas of the world.
Tel: 020 7840 6000
Safer EdgeSafer Edge provides Security, Crisis and Humanitarian training and consultancy and has long term experience working with humanitarian organisations in many difficult contexts around the world. We ensure all training is context and program specific and directly relevant to staff working in the field.
Tel: 0208 560 9972
Church World Service TrainingThis US based organisation provide resources, training materials and advice for dealing with emergency and relief situations. Much of their material is available through their website.
Tel: ++1 212 870 3151 (USA)
Crisis Consulting InternationalCCI has been serving the Christian community since 1983 with the purpose of: 1) Providing security-related training and consultation services, 2) Assisting Christian organizations with specific needs, such as event security, protection of personnel and investigation of hostile acts, and 3) Serving as consultants and hostage negotiators for Christian organizations during crises such as kidnappings. They have developed two fundamental training programs for the Christian community, both of which are available in videotape programs with accompanying student workbooks:
- The Contingency Preparation Seminar is a two-day seminar developed for field missionary personnel. The emphasis is on prevention and avoidance. This program also covers personal risk assessment and security, crime prevention and hostage survival skills.
- The Crisis Management Seminar is a five-day seminar designed for missions leaders and executives. The areas of prevention, avoidance and personal security are also covered in this seminar, however, the emphasis is on contingency planning, policy setting and crisis management in the international Christian environment.
Many of the above organisations who run courses and offer training will also provide some consultancy and advice on crisis management issues. The following, however, specialise in the area of consultancy:
Note: If your organisation or project doesn't have a contingency plan in place, contact your local embassy to see what steps they would recommend in situations of emergency, civil unrest or military conflict (embassy contact details can be found here ).
Crisis Consulting InternationalCCI, a US based organisation, has been serving the Christian community since 1983 with the purpose of: 1) Providing security-related training and consultation services, 2) Assisting Christian organizations with specific needs, such as event security, protection of personnel and investigation of hostile acts, and 3) Serving as consultants and hostage negotiators for Christian organizations during crises such as kidnappings. CCI can assist in the initial stages of contingency planning and policy setting associated with crime, terrorism, changes in government, natural disasters, etc. This process generally includes:
- A risk assessment process to identify the types of threats the organization may face.
- An evaluation of the organization's broad policy needs (i.e. negotiation with hostage takers, payment of ransom, evacuations, establishing a Crisis Management Team, etc.).
- Identification and implementation of specific contingency plans.
Tel: 02891 457689
Mobile Member Care TeamMobile Member Care Team (MMCT) is a cooperative, inter-mission ministry that provides training, consultation, referral and direct crisis response for missionaries on the field. Traumatic events such as evacuation, civil war, kidnappings, carjackings, armed robbery, rape, theft, assaults, and severe medical illness are becoming an increasingly common experience for many missionaries. MMCT-WA (West Africa), launched in May 2000 and centrally located in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, serves the 14 countries from Senegal to Nigeria.
MMCT exists to strengthen the mission community for healthy, loving service in the midst of challenge, change and crisis through a ministry of equipping, preserving and restoring missionaries. The team responds to crises by providing debriefing, assessment, referral and consultation to peer responders and mission leaders.
Tel: ++ 225 2243 3460 (COTE D'IVOIRE)
WITS InternationalWalking In Their Shoes (WITS) ministry, based in the USA, began in early 1999 to provide on-site care for Christians working overseas. This includes tent makers and independent workers as well as those sent by agencies or denominations. They are available to all without charge and will meet with them at their request wherever they are in the world. Services include providing confidential psychological and spiritual counseling and support.
Tel: ++ 1 616 844 3360 (USA)
Sources of Country/Region Specific AdviceTo keep abreast of any changes to official travel advice, check frequently the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website or listen to the BBC World Service radio. You might also like to contact your nearest British embassy and ask about their crisis action plan should the situation change in your location.
British Foreign & Commonwealth Office: www.fco.gov.uk
BBC World Service Radio: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice
Embassy details: www.fco.gov.uk
Church World ServiceCWS offers a variety of resources and training oriented towards organizing and equipping the faith community to respond to disasters. CWS also has a Security Manual available for NGOs working in insecure environments (contact them to obtain a copy). Sections covered include:
- Risk Management
- Personal Protection
- Conflict Management
- Operational Alert Levels
- Site Security
- Vehicles & Transport
- Communication Procedures
- Explosive Devices
- Land Mines
- Emergency Survival
- Armed Protection
Tel: ++1 212 870 3151 (USA)
Disasters and the local churchThe book 'Disasters and the local church', published by Tearfund in 2011, provides guidelines for church leaders in disaster-prone areas of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The book is all online and free to download.
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)As part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, IRIN provides regular reports on a wide array of political, economic and social issues affecting humanitarian efforts. These are particularly aimed at areas subject to disaster or crisis.
Missionaries on Alert"Missionaries on Alert" is a 2-volume, wire-bound instructional manual subtitled "A Security Awareness Training Manual for Living in Threat Environments." It is written from a Biblical perspective as a basic security awareness training manual for missionaries. Book One tells a fictitious story of two men in separate hostage situations and how they acted, interacted and reacted. Book Two gives an assessment of what the characters of Book One did rightly and what they did wrongly. The cost of the set is either US $42.00 or CDN $54.00 including shipping and handling.
Mobile Member Care TeamMobile Member Care Team (MMCT) is a cooperative, inter-mission ministry that provides training, consultation, referral and direct crisis response for missionaries on the field. MMCT-WA (West Africa), launched in May 2000 and centrally located in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, serves the 14 countries from Senegal to Nigeria. The MMCT website includes many resources on crisis management.
Tel: ++ 225 2243 3460 (COTE D'IVOIRE)
ASI GroupUS based Air Security International are global risk management specialists and provide consultancy advice and resources on emergency response and crisis management.
All in DiaryThe All In Diary is designed for use in disaster situations, and is specifically aimed at less experienced field based humanitarian workers in international and local NGOs. Information pages on many topics related to crisis management can be downloaded for free from their website.
Aid Workers ExchangeThis website has articles on various topics related to aid work.
FCO LOCATEIf you are a British national, and travelling or living abroad, or planning to do so, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office encourage you to use their LOCATE service to tell them. Their embassy and crisis staff can then give you better assistance in an emergency such as a tsunami or terrorist attack.
People in AidThis website includes information on a number of security and crisis related publications including 'Preventing Accidents - health and safety guidelines for aid workers'.
Tel: 020 7065 0900
Preparing for EmergenciesThe online version of this UK government publication has some good information and links for crisis situations, whether you are in the UK or elsewhere.
ReliefWebReliefWeb is the world’s premier electronic clearinghouse for those needing timely information on humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters – designed specifically to help the humanitarian community improve its response to emergencies.
Safe TravelThis site covers many aspects of travel safety. The site contains over 70 articles & tips, all written by a team of experts. They add around 10 articles a month. If you'd like to know what's been added and any news then simply register for the SafeTravel monthly newsletter.
Safety24.co.ukIf something were to happen to you or a family member, if you were to injure yourself whilst alone or become seperated from your group, it would be comforting to know that there is someone who has all your medical details including any allergies or specific medical requirements and also the contact details of your specified next of kin. Via a Unique ID number, safety24.co.uk can offer the assurance of safety, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the world
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