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Evacuation of expatriate and other traveling personnel - Emergency procedures  

In the event that it is necessary to evacuate personnel, each company should be aware of its responsibilities of extraditing their travelers.

A firm company policy outlining guidelines of return and deportation of expatriate and traveling personnel must be put in place as an emergency procedure.

As your Travel Management Company, we have a responsibility to encourage you to create a policy; and have full understanding of any emergency procedures for returning personnel in the event that it becomes necessary.

A policy will create equal understanding for anyone involved in an evacuation, streamlining the operation and minimising panic.

Because we are an integral part of such an operation, we suggest that preparedness will be the key factor to a swift and successful uplift, however it is vital that we understand what your guidelines are so your personnel aren't "caught in a flurry" should everyone decide to come home at once.

Assistance with drafting a policy:

A policy should be divided into as many sections as necessary to properly detail operations. In particular sections should include "International Travel", "Domestic Travel" (covering guidelines of both inbound and outbound travel directions); and "Return of Expatriate Personnel - deportation"

A personnel "travel log" should be created (and maintained) so that at least one member of your firm has hard data on who is traveling; where and when.

International Travel

Research should be carried out to identify all current expatriate and traveling personnel (matched with their origins), and a logistic device or procedure formulated to agree as to "where" is regarded as "safe" and at what point that it be necessary to uplift them.(eg. Jakarta - Extradite at earliest possible time, to ANY Australian city; or New Zealand - Extradite within 3 days of notification to traveler's home city)

An individual budget must be ascertained for the return of each International Traveler.

A "constant contact" schedule should be determined and all sectors of travel should be reconfirmed with your office on a set basis, confirming the traveler's intention to do so, or having done so.

It may be necessary that all International Travelers register with the Australian Consulate Office in each country they intend visiting, and advise them that they intend to depart once decided. Australian Embassy information can be found on our website at www.dbt.com.au/tools_dbt.htm then click "Australian Embassies".

All intending passengers should carry (separate to originals), copies of all travel documents, first two pages of their passport and copies of any visas issued for that trip with them at all times. They should also file copies of these with your firm.

You should also consider passengers traveling with your own personnel (eg. a client), and whether or not your policy would reflect their movements, or if indeed their own company has its own policy and evacuation procedure.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade are responsible for providing updates on International Travel, and do. As well, in the event of evacuation, airlines offer emergency and added flights to see that Australians are returned home. DBT will keep you informed of additional flights as they may be introduced, should the situation heighten and you feel the need to bring your people home.

Domestic Travel

One can only presume that domestic travel would offer far less threat than International. However, it's important and possibly legally required that your policy cover these travelers.

Similarly to that of International Travel, you should keep a maintained timetable of traveling personnel. Which cities, who and when.

An individual budget should be ascertained for the return of each Domestic Traveler.

In the event of disaster, consider a "base check-in" schedule where travelers periodically advise you of their movements while traveling.

Again, you should consider passengers traveling with your own personnel (eg. a client), and whether or not your policy would reflect their movements, or if indeed their own company has its own policy and evacuation procedure.

The strongest consideration may be "under what circumstances would I have to move a passenger from one city to another", as a matter of emergency?

Return of Expatriate Personnel - From Australia

This area must be given some strong consideration.

Depending on where their country of origin is, the expat` and your firm must consider if it is indeed deemed safer to stay in Australia.

For this reason, expatriates should be included in the policy-making process so you can plan well in advance.

Understandably, many expats` have family back home and may wish to be uplifted and returned. Should this be the case, again; you need to determine when an emergency is actually an emergency and detail a policy accordingly.

You should consider how many family members the deportation involves and accordingly schedule a budget and "pecking order", for the safe return of a family.

General Considerations

You should inquire whether or not any travel partners (Hotels etc) have an Evacuation Policy in place. DBT will keep you abreast of any policies that we discover, that may affect your personnel and their safety.

You should also inquire and consider policies of your own trading partners (eg. Suppliers etc) that your personnel might be traveling with, and whether or not they in fact have these in place. This is particularly important when a supplier is hosting the trip.

International companies should see that local policies are in line with Global Policies, and that resolutions simulate.

Your policy should include a clause/clauses regarding the return of company equipment, documents and the likes; and personal chattel.

Disclaimer

Our operation "Home Safe" is merely an awareness campaign, not to cause alarm. It's the companies that take the time to understand the circumstances, and put a policy in place, that are seen to be protecting their personnel.

In arranging your policy, you may wish to consult your Legal or HR Departments to find out if you have certain responsibilities to your travelers.

Our assistance in drafting a policy is not legally binding and may differ from recommendations made by your own professionals. Again, we offer personal recommendations that are subject your own determination.

Ultimately, we want to draw to your attention the importance of having a policy in place so we can in turn, assure you of our professional services should we be in a situation that we need to extradite your personnel.

IMPORTANT:

Please let us file a copy of your policy once complete. Should you feel the need to discuss our ideas further, please don't hesitate contact Donna directly by email. It's all part of the DBT service and thinking well ahead.