Lessons learnt in Libya – evacuation and repatriation AAIB has been speaking to individuals in organisations affected by the recent events in Libya, in particular, to develop a checklist of key factors that a company should consider for its overseas operations. 1. Planning
Any company, whatever size, with offices and staff located overseas needs a comprehensive crisis plan
Constantly review the risk using intelligence and local knowledge. This intelligence should be used as an ongoing planning tool for emergencies.
Crisis Management Team
Appoint a crisis management team that will immediately act and provide advice and support centrally. Located in the assigned operations room each member of the team should have a designated role: communicating to the staff; communicating to families; communicating with the embassy; and, the media, logging staff movements etc.
Knowing where staff are
Prepare detailed records of the locations where your staff work (on and offsite) and where they live. For the fastest possible evacuation to take place being able to provide GPS co-ordinates can be of great benefit.
Ensuring staff know the drill
Equipping your staff with the information to know-how to deal with a crisis situation is an excellent way to mitigate their risk in a crisis. At the very least they should know the relevant parts of company’s crisis operation plan. Training from an external expert is also worth considering.
Plans soon fall by the way side if the necessary tools are not in place to support an emergency plan
What is the trigger for your evacuation plan?
It is vital to have a trigger that will activate your emergency evacuation plan. This may be linked to your political evacuation and political risk insurance cover trigger or you may take your lead from your embassy. The key is to know the trigger and act on it.
What happens if there is a communications blackout?
Email: Regularly used servers can get shutdown or jammed in a crisis and so it is vital to have a back-up hotmail, gmail or yahoo address that staff know to use e.g.: email@example.com
Are your staff equipped to get out?
Paperwork: When a country is in a state of flux, getting the necessary paperwork required to permit staff to travel can be almost impossible. Make sure that your staff have up to date paperwork to exit a country in a hurry (e.g., exit visas).
Phone cards: In a crisis, the mobile networks can be unreliable and vulnerable to being closed down. Ensure you have a supply of phone cards that are distributed to staff and can be used to communicate as well as used as a means of currency. Also consider obtaining a satellite based secondary telephone system, that is not dependent on the conventional local networks.
Money: Cash, readily available and in sufficient quantities is an essential part of getting your staff out – helping to aid passage across borders or entry into ports and airports. Luggage: The struggle to get into the airport in Libya at the start of the crisis was very worrying. Those who fared best had little luggage and brought food and drink provisions. Some waited for days until they could get on a flight. A rucksack can be a good choice of bag – allowing hands to be kept free at all times. Vehicles: In the event that airports and ports are closed, driving to a neighbouring border can be a necessary. Make sure your vehicles are always filled up with fuel and have reserve tanks available. Alternative Exit Routes: In a crisis you can’t always rely on the primary plan and so it is important that you have considered alternative routes to get out. You may consider employing someone with strong local knowledge to help carry out reconnaissance trips on possible evacuation routes during an emergency. 3.
Remember you are not working in isolation
The Diplomatic Community
Ensure that your in country staff are registered with your Embassy. Embassy liaison is very important during a crisis. Your embassy will be able to provide you with security and status updates as well as procedures for evacuations.
The Corporate Community
Planning for and acting on a crisis situation can be expensive. It is worthwhile considering pooling resources with neighbouring companies. For example: A Safe House – Offices of international companies may be a target during a civil uprising. By pooling resources with another company, additional security provisions such as a safe house, equipped with food, water, bedding, money, phonecards and fuel (6 weeks supply), and protected by security assets, becomes more viable and affordable.
To speak to one of our specialist brokers about your emergency evacuation needs or your political risk cover contact us on + 962 (0) 6550 3222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Disclaimer: The information described in this document does not constitute advice and it is recommended that you seek professional advice from a suitable, licensed security company in helping to plan and implement security arrangements, based on your particular circumstances and needs.