4. Communicating with staff in an emergency

The ability to communicate in an emergency is critical to ensure and confirm staff safety. At a minimum, every CO must:

  • ensure that CARE offices and/or operations have back-up communications systems in case one system fails, and place them in strategic locations in the responsibility of specific trained personnel
  • establish clear communications procedures before any emergency. If procedures are not in place, establish them as soon as possible after a disaster and at the outset of an assessment mission. The procedures should include phone trees for information sharing, travel and movement communication procedures, and warden systems. These can be used to confirm the safety of staff and to share information or warnings in case of new risks or a crisis.

1. Ensure that you and your immediate surroundings are safe.
2. Attend to the immediate medical needs you or anyone near you has.
3. Take all measures necessary to move away from the danger zone.
4. Establish lines of communications by phone, satellite or radio with the person in charge of security or the CD, and activate the CO emergency phone tree if it is in place.
5. Contact other CARE offices and personnel for an update on their situation.
6. Assess the status of CARE personnel’s (or dependants’) safety, location, needs and communication line; and establish a next time of contact.
7. Initiate any assistance required for yourself or other CARE personnel/family members.
8. Notify responsible staff at CO level or the Lead Member with an immediate incident report.
9. Activate Critical Incident Management Team or Emergency protocols.