The safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff is a very important consideration of USAC. We believe it is in everyone’s interest to prepare for most foreseeable occurrences. As such, USAC has developed extensive and very specific crisis management and emergency response procedures to address different types of emergencies (e.g. natural disaster, accident/illness, student death, crime, etc.). USAC students are provided with emergency procedure information in their Know Before You Go: Student Handbook as well as during the mandatory on-site orientation.
The USAC Student Information Director monitors the US Department of State Travel Advisories and Warnings, bulletins from the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), and other appropriate websites on a daily basis for any world events that may affect program sites and/or participants. If needed, the USAC Director, USAC Management Team, and onsite staff would be notified.
Each Specialty program site is registered at the appropriate US Embassy and Consulate, ensuring that the Resident Director is aware of current conditions and can be contacted, if necessary.
It is impossible to know which of the potential emergency situations a USAC student may face at any given moment. Consequently, it is impossible to develop one single course of action which would be appropriate in every circumstance. In general, in the event of an emergency the Resident Director or other onsite staff member will report to the USAC Central Office as soon as possible to provide information and discuss any necessary follow-up plans. As necessary, the USAC Director will convene a crisis management team who will meet to assess the situation and determine the appropriate response.
For large-scale emergencies impacting an entire program location, USAC staff will communicate with the students’ emergency contacts and home universities as well as post updates on the USAC website. The crisis team will debrief after every major event to determine if changes to the emergency procedures are needed.
Students are advised to maintain regular contact with their parents, guardians, or other emergency contacts and to get in touch with them as soon as possible after an emergency so as to allay concerns.