Emergency Evacuation Preparedness Basics for Mobile Employees

January 18, 2017

A comprehensive Mobility Program includes safety and security strategies. A key one is an Emergency Evacuation Plan to safeguard mobile employees by taking critical steps to prevent the loss of life and minimize injury and property damage in the event of a man-made or natural disaster.

Basic components of an Emergency Evacuation Plan, that should be established well in advance of an incident, include:

1. Eligibility Criteria that is clearly established and communicated.

  • Example: “Eligible” might be defined as payrolled employees and their dependents (defined) relocated by the company to live and work temporarily or indefinitely in a country other than their home country.
  • Other populations should be deliberately included or excluded from eligibility, e.g. foreign nationals hired locally, employees of subsidiaries, etc.

2. Team Structure of the oversight and supporting team(s), that might include Security, Legal, Travel, Risk Management and/or other functions.  Roles and Responsibilities should be clearly defined and assigned.

3. Operations to include plans, processes and procedures that are clearly defined, documented, updated and communicated.  Examples:

  • Contingency transportation procedures, e.g. rescue
  • Safe Haven’ locations identified, with procedures to obtain visas
  • Assistance providers identified, e.g. temporary lodging, evacuation allowances, etc.

4. Communication strategies and procedures:

  • Identification and reporting of ‘eligible” evacuees (by location) with current contact information may involve multiple tracking resources, e.g. employee, relocation supplier and travel databases.
  • Emergency notification tool/procedure to account for potential impacted employees, to check on their safety and offer assistance if needed.
  • Communication contingency plans should be ready to execute under adverse conditions, e.g. text, email and phone are inoperable.  It is also important to consider language barriers of assignees/expatriates.
  • Employee readiness - Viable training programs consist of education, training, drills, and exercises, e.g. documents and essentials to have ready, the need to keep contact information current, contingency steps.

Remember, no two emergencies are the same, so the more prepared you are with the basics, the more you can focus on the differences.

 HR&Relo Advisors Team


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