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Emergency procedures

General emergency response

  1. In an emergency, your first responsibility is to safeguard the safety and well-being of program participants. Do whatever is necessary to ensure this, whether this means obtaining prompt and appropriate medical attention, U.S. Embassy intervention, or police protection. In case of a terrorist attack, gather at the pre-arranged location (see Pre-departure and On-site Orientation) to account for all students and follow the directives of the local authorities. You will be reimbursed for all expenses relating to the management of an emergency.
  2. When you have done all that you reasonably can do to ensure the students' well-being, immediately contact the MSU Emergency Assistance line at 001-517-353-3784. The Operations Desk is staffed 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, and will contact the appropriate OSA staff member. OSA has explicit procedures in place to deal with the different emergencies previously listed. This step is critical so that we can assist you with decision-making and be fully informed of the crisis. During a crisis, OSA is the principal conduit of information to the MSU upper administration and the media, so timely and accurate information from on site is critical.
  3. Follow-up communication with program leaders will occur primarily via email (provided that Internet access is still available on site). Therefore, it is critical that program leaders regularly check their MSU email accounts for updates and instructions.
  4. OSA will notify the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate about the crisis and inform you of whatever procedures they may require if there is a continuing risk to the welfare of the students (during a terrorist threat, for example).
  5. After OSA is informed of an emergency, and after we consult with you and other appropriate individuals on site, we may, depending on the acuteness of the crisis, fax or email you a description of the course of action that you and the students will need to follow. Should a student not be able to continue with your group, leave the student with an MSU-appointed liaison to assist with the situation. Notify OSA and tell us who is providing assistance. It is not appropriate to appoint another student as the liaison.
  6. During a political crisis or other emergency during which foreigners in general or U.S. citizens in particular may be at risk, tell students to keep a low profile and to not travel in large groups. Tell them to avoid demonstrations, confrontations or situations where they could be in danger; to avoid behavior that could call attention to themselves; to avoid locales where foreigners or Americans are known to congregate; and to remove signs, luggage tags and clothing that would label them as Americans. You may wish to have a pre-arranged plan requiring that all students return to their residences during such a crisis.
  7. Experts say that during a political emergency, it is unwise to change locations. Therefore, it is unlikely that students would need to be evacuated from a site abroad. However, leaders and students would be brought home if a situation were to deteriorate to the point where the degree of risk to students was deemed unacceptable. If this were to happen, the OSA Executive Director, in consultation with you, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the U.S. Department of State, and appropriate MSU personnel, would develop an evacuation plan in as much detail as possible. This plan would be transmitted to you in confidence, and OSA would continue to work closely with you throughout the process.
  8. In the event of a significant crisis, individual students have the option of returning to the U.S. Every reasonable effort will be made to allow these students to continue their academic program on campus, and OSA will work with the students regarding housing, financial issues, etc.