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In the event of a medical or political/security emergency:

For immediate assistance, contact HTH Worldwide:

Inside the US, call 1.800.257.4823

Outside the US, call +1.610.254.8771 (collect)

As an HTH customer, you are eligible for global emergency assistance, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  They can assist you to locate medical care, referrals, and medical or security evacuation and planning. 

If you require medical evacuation, you must contact HTH Worldwide in advance or your evacuation may not be eligible for reimbursement. 

Email or web (use your login and password or ask GEO Center)




1)           Notify your on-campus contact person immediately.  If you cannot reach someone after fifteen minutes by calling the phone numbers listed below, go to the next person on the list until you reach someone.  When you call, inform them of the nature of the crisis, your location, the location of the students and all relevant details available to you.  SEE BELOW.


2)           Assess the situation and any threats or dangers it poses to students or leader(s).

a)        What specific threats or danger do they face?

b)        What immediate steps can and should be taken to reduce harm, danger or threat level?

c)        Are people safer staying where they are?  If not, then where?


3)           Contact all students.

a)        Determine whether they are accounted for and safe within one hour or as soon thereafter as is practical.

b)        Determine and record their present location.

c)        Instruct them where to go and what to do given the circumstances.


4)           Contact HTH Worldwide Assist if the situation is medical, or if evacuation for medical, security or political reasons may be necessary. They will give guidance, assess the situation and identify resources, then respond appropriately.


5)           Send or call MassArt with updates throughout the crisis and regularly in the hours and days following regarding the condition, safety and location of students and advisors and to pass along new information as it becomes available or as conditions change.


6)           Maintain a written log of the crisis.  Include specific dates, times, actions taken, communications, and all other
relevant details, beginning with your first notice of the emerging crisis and everything through to its completion, including follow-up.


Campus Safety

24/7 Emergency Line  1.617.879.7800 (collect)

Erica Puccio

Office 1-617-879-7716             Cell 1-617-800-4303

Maureen Keefe

Office 1-617-879-7705             Cell 1-617-308-9265

Jamie Costello, Dean of Students 

Office 1-6170-879-7703

Maggie Shirland

Office 1-617-879-7702             Cell 1-619-959-5773



Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for Travel

Table of Contents




Emergency card for on-site travel leader……………………………..…….page 1


Emergency Action Plan ........................................ pages 2 - 11


  1. Contacts for Travel Emergencies
  2. Introduction
  3. Types of Emergencies
  4. Monitoring and Risk Assessment
  5. Universal Principles of Any Emergency
  6. Planning for and Managing Evacuations
  7. Country-Specific Emergency Information
  8. Guidelines for When to Contact MassArt
  9. After an Emergency





  • Form for hotel/accommodations with MassArt emergency contacts
  • Personal Emergency Action Plan for each traveler to complete (EAP)


Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for Travel


I.  Contacts for Travel Emergencies



HTH Worldwide Assistance - 24/7 Emergency Support - Travelers are pre-registered


Outside the US, call 001.610.254.8771 (collect)

Inside the US, call 1.800.257.4823


Web (use your traveler login/password or ask GEO Center)

They can assist you to locate medical care, referrals, and medical or security evacuation and planning.  If you require medical evacuation, you must contact HTH Worldwide in advance or your evacuation may not be eligible for reimbursement. 


At MassArt (if calling from abroad dial 001+ number from most countries;

check at

Campus Safety
617.879.7800 - Emergency Line 24/7


VP for Student Development Maureen Keefe



Director,  International Education Center – Erica Puccio

617.879.7716 / 617-800-4303


International Student Advisor – Maggie Shirland

617.879.7702/ 619-959-5773



At Colleges of the Fenway (if calling from abroad dial 001+ number from most countries;

check at


COF GEO Center  Director– Rebecca Bacon

617.879.1056 (office)


COF GEO Center  Assistant Director– Douglas Upton

617.879.1057 (office)

II. Introduction


An emergency is any significant event with potentially severe consequences that requires immediate action or response.  This Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is designed for the purpose of outlining emergency preparedness and guiding MassArt officials and partners through emergencies that occur during international travel in order to mitigate harm to students, faculty, or staff, and their families.  Users of this plan will include MassArt administrators, faculty, and international partner-institution officials who plan, execute, or support MassArt-sponsored travel abroad programs. 


This Emergency Action Plan will be distributed to the following MassArt and international officials: 

vice president of academic affairs, vice president of student life, vice president of business and finance/risk manager, vice president for marketing communications, director of the office of international programs, director of public safety, director of health services, director of counseling, director of human resources, legal counsel, travel program leaders, director of the International Education Center, and international partner-institution emergency contacts/resident directors.


Officials should consult this Emergency Action Plan during:

  • Medical Emergencies (accidents, injuries, epidemics)
  • Terrorism
  • Crime
  • Natural Disasters (i.e., hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, floods, fires)
  • Socio-Political Unrest (i.e., civil and political unrest, riots and demonstrations, military coups)
  • Technical Failures (i.e., communications system failures, power failures)
  • Environmental Catastrophes (i.e., nuclear hazards, pollution, water and air contaminants)


All of these emergencies have several aspects in common:

  • They can result in a disruption, early termination, or cancellation of a travel abroad program or the closing of a foreign university or other host institutions.
  • They usually cause significant emotional stress to the individuals involved, resulting in predictable cognitive, physical and behavioral reactions.
  • They can be managed.


In the event of an emergency, the people who are identified above whose areas relate to the emergency may be called upon to respond to it as an Emergency Response Team (ERT).  This Emergency Action Plan will assist them to manage the crisis at hand and guide participants through the crisis toward a safe resolution.


III. Types of Emergencies

Response plans for specific types of emergencies are intended to address scenarios predicted to be most likely; however, since it is impossible to predict all potential emergencies, users of this EAP should consider provided information and customize a response using a combination of their best judgment and consultation when possible.  Emergencies can affect single individuals or an entire group.


General recommended action plans are described here in protocols for specific types of emergencies such as:  medical emergencies and evacuation, family crises, accidents and injuries, student death, petty crime, physical and sexual assaults, missing person, natural disasters, environmental hazards, and civil unrest and political uprisings.

Not all events require notification of the full EMT. Incidents (pickpocket theft, minor injury, loss of luggage, etc.) should be handled onsite by the leader, followed by notification of the vice president responsible for the program.


Regardless of what happens or the outcomes, every incident or emergency must be documented in writing using the Incident Report Form and reported within 48 hours to the vice president responsible for the program.

IV. Monitoring and Risk Assessment


Travel program leaders, partner organizations, International Education Center staff, and emergency response administrators consult several sources of information to evaluate risk for MassArt-sponsored programs.

  • Travel advisories issued by national and international government sources and organizations

(, ,,

  • Local contacts and experts in the host country
  • U.S. embassy officials in the host country (
  • SECUSSA (Section on U.S. Students Abroad) of NAFSA:  Association of International Educators (
  • Other education abroad programs
  • Medical and security assistance and insurance companies’ country-specific information ( - get password from GEO Center)


Decisions regarding the status of program operations are made by the MassArt vice president who oversees the program (Academic Affairs or Student Life), based on information from these sources and in consultation with members of the Emergency Response Team.  Students are briefed on potential risks and advised about actions they can take to minimize risks.  In severe circumstances that involve high risk, programs can be suspended. 


V. Universal Principles for Any Travel Emergency


preparation and Communication

Preparation combined with effective communication is the key to any emergency management system.  Experience indicates that effective communication must operate on several levels: on-site program administrators, faculty and staff group travel leaders, U.S. institutional administrators, students, family, and U.S. and host-country community resources.


Prior to Departure

It is important to communicate with students what is expected of them as individuals and members of the group before an emergency occurs.  All students traveling abroad through the auspices of the College and our institutional partners are required to attend a comprehensive, pre-departure orientation meeting where the staff explain to students that their choices before and during their travel abroad experience have a profound effect on their personal health and safety.  Students are informed that they are ultimately responsible for their own health and safety and need to understand how to access information to make informed decisions about their well-being.  In the pre-departure orientation, administrators provide verbal and/or written information about health and safety issues, expectations for behavior while abroad, how to access information from the State Department, the importance of registering with the US embassy abroad, and behaviors that can reduce their likelihood of becoming a target of crime or terrorism.


Documentation and Record Keeping

  • The staff of the vice president who oversees the program and staff of the International Education Center work with travel program leaders to plan and prepare for each program. Documentation of these communications is kept in the program files.
  • Personal and emergency contact information is collected from each student before departure.  Rosters are created and shared with travel program leaders and MassArt administrators.
  • Medical, evacuation, and repatriation coverage is purchased for all participants on MassArt’s travel programs, including faculty and staff, from HTH Worldwide. Those who want to extend their coverage for travel beyond program dates or who are traveling on a partner program are advised regarding coverage availability through HTH.
  • For travel programs, group members should be registered with the U.S. Department of State. Students who are not U.S. citizens should be advised to register with their home country’s embassy.  
  • Each travel program leader and partner institution should maintain an up-to-date, general emergency evacuation plan, familiarity with possible exit routes and means of transport for students, and a record of key contacts and resources needed for arranging an evacuation, including contact information for HTH Worldwide.


Materials and Instructions to Students and other Participants

  • Participants are provided with country-specific health and safety resources before departure.
  • Participants are provided with an emergency wallet card to write numbers for emergency contacts, including the U.S. embassy (or, in the case of citizens of other countries, their home country embassy) and 24/7 host and home campus contacts.
  • Participants are encouraged to complete the Personal Emergency Action Plan (EAP) so they recognize their personal responsibility for safety and become familiar with escape routes from their accommodations and other locations, as well as other emergency information. Group travel leaders are encouraged to have a discussion about the personal EAPs as a group.


Contacts and Continuing Communication

  • Travel program leaders and partner institution representatives should identify and know how to communicate in the time of an emergency with such resources as:

         Airport authorities and travel agents

         Telephone and other utility companies

         Hospitals, clinics, trauma facilities and a comprehensive list of health and counseling professionals  from (use your traveler login/password or ask the GEO Center)

         Local country Red Cross Office

         The U.S. Embassy and Consulates , and pertinent embassies and consulates for all travelers in the program )

         Other U.S. education abroad programs/organizations in the area

         Volunteer agencies

         Insurance providers and emergency evacuation companies (use your traveler login/password or ask the GEO Center)


  • Travel program leaders and partner institution representatives should be familiar with how to contact local Public Safety and police and the American Citizen Services Section of the U.S. Embassy where the group or individuals are registered.  It is helpful to maintain periodic contact with the U.S. consular and embassy officials and with local police in normal times in order to facilitate communications should an emergency occur.


Upon Arrival

The on-site staff and/or faculty in each country are responsible for providing a comprehensive orientation once students have arrived at the program site abroad.  It is important to hold these orientations once in-country because anecdotal evidence maintains that students retain more information about health and safety after arrival in the international destination.  In these orientations, on-site staff and/or faculty would review local health, safety, and security guidelines and emergency preparation and protocols, including emergency contact instructions.  Students need to know what first steps to take in the event of an emergency and where to meet if the group is dispersed.  The manager of your accommodations needs to know how to contact the College in case of emergency; a form is provided for this purpose.


Within the first few days of the beginning of the program, each travel program leader or partner institution representative is advised to devise and test a system of rapid communication with students and staff of the program and the MassArt contact person.  It is helpful to discuss and prioritize a backup communication plan for use in the event that telephones malfunction during the crisis (i.e., radio stations and government radio networks might be helpful).  These local resident directors or travel program leaders will work with the MassArt Emergency Response Team to coordinate emergency response procedures for the group.


Program policies

  • The travel program leaders and partner institution representative inform students during orientation that all students who make plans to travel away from the program site overnight are required to inform the travel program tour leader or resident director, their roommates, or their host family, leaving a clearly written itinerary and contact information. This is a good opportunity to review safe travel recommendations and emergency communication plans.
  • Serious crimes and incidents are reported to and documented with the local police as outlined in Section VIII of this EAP.


Continuing Communication

  • Partner institution representatives maintain periodic communication with program participants.
  • In times of concern, travel program leaders and partner institution representatives encourage students to keep informed about the local situation and will sponsor faculty or administrator-led discussions of current events, both formal and informal, that include discussions of security.  They will also advise students, when possible, about other opportunities within the community to learn more about safety and current events.


These responsibilities may, at times, appear to conflict with the values or respect for the student’s individual autonomy and independence.  In matters relating to personal safety, the authority of the governing body (i.e., college travel abroad program) will supersede the individual wishes of students.  While every person responds to and deals with crises uniquely, there is little time “in the heat of the moment” to negotiate the handling of a crisis.  Students must quickly heed all orders to respond.  Therefore, they need to understand the reality of “autonomy vs. authority” before an emergency occurs so they are prepared to follow the procedures designed to help them.  This expectation shall be communicated through travel program leaders to students.


Students can play a major role in developing a working communications system by:

  • Understanding how to contact emergency resources in their respective communities
  • Keeping the travel program leader or resident director informed of their whereabouts
  • Staying in touch with other students and using the buddy system
  • Following procedures stipulated in this EAP
  • Developing liaison with other agencies, university education abroad programs and host country nationals


Initial Steps in the Event of an Emergency

For all emergencies, the travel program leader or partner institution representative seeks needed emergency health care for any College participant first.  A call should be placed to the health/safety/evacuation company
(for most MassArt programs it is HTH Worldwide) for immediate assistance and emergency response activation. 


The travel program leader or partner institution representative locates all students, ascertains their welfare status, and establishes future contact plans.  Students are provided with instructions as to whether to travel to a group meeting place or to remain at current location.  Students should also be cautioned to avoid unnecessarily alarming their families and others at home with panicky phone calls, text messages or e-mails.  Level heads abroad and at home are the best way to insure rational, carefully considered procedures.


The scope of the emergency will determine who among the EAP users will form the Emergency Response Team.  The first contact to MassArt should be to Campus Safety.  Campus Safety operates its phones

24-hours a day, seven days a week, and is consistently the easiest to reach immediately.


The travel program leader or the partner representative should be prepared to report on the following:

  1. A summary of the immediate situation,
  2. The safety of all program participants,
  3. The geographic proximity of the program to the crisis,
  4. The impact of the crisis on the quality of life (availability of food, potable water, medical supplies, the protection of law and order),
  5. The target of the unrest, if the crisis is political,
  6. The intensity of military presence in the area of the program, and
  7. The continuance of infrastructure to fulfill the itinerary, classes in local universities and/or program site.


Upon receiving an emergency call from abroad to the United States , it is important to verify that the message and initial understanding of the emergency is accurate.  Due to conditions of stress, the person receiving the information should repeat or write down the message to ensure accuracy and reliability to the highest extent possible.  If possible, the person receiving the emergency call should collect the following information:

  1. The caller’s name,
  2. Where the caller is,
  3. The nature of the emergency,
  4. The telephone number and where a MassArt administrator may contact the caller,
  5. Until what time/for how long will the caller be available at that number, and
  6. A time the caller will call again if he/she is not reached at the above number.


It is important to establish an agreed upon time and schedule for subsequent telephone or other contact during this initial contact.  The frequency of subsequent contact will depend on the acuity of the situation and developing circumstances.  It is not only important to determine the urgency of the message, with whom, where, and how communications should take place, but also what kind of information will be needed by each party. 


Sending messages via a third party to U.S. or international officials may also be important.  Relaying these same expectations for communication to this third party will help ensure the quality of the communication attempt.


If a participant from another COF school is on a MassArt travel program, contact the COF Office of International Programs Opportunities Center or their campus’s public safety office immediately. A designee from the campus and the GEO Center should be included in all communications.


If an emergency were to occur in the U.S., the College dean or director of Campus Safety would contact the travel program leader or the partner institution representative at the emergency contact numbers provided. 


Follow-up Steps after the Initial Contact

After receiving the initial contact, the recipient of the call will communicate with the College’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) members as needed. Members of the College’s ERT are: vice president of academic affairs, vice president of student life, vice president of business and finance/risk manager, vice president for marketing communications, director of public safety, director of health services, director of counseling, director of human resources, legal counsel, travel program leaders, director of the International Education Center, and international partner-institution emergency contacts/resident directors. The ERT will call upon additional users of this EAP as needed. 


Emergency Response Team members consult with the travel program leader or partner institution representative and, as soon as possible, the 24-hour emergency assistance company. Also, when possible and applicable, such additional sources as an on-site health provider, on-site counseling provider, a travel agent, host country government officials, and host country resources. 


The ERT also consults with members of the greater community when possible and applicable, such as the insurance provider, host country government officials, a U.S. embassy Regional Security Officer (RSO), and other embassy or State Department personnel.


On-going Communication throughout the Emergency

Emergency Response Team members maintain the agreed upon time and schedule for telephone or other contact.  During these opportunities for communication, the Emergency Response Team can help emergency-site leaders to process information, develop contingency plans, and provide such assistance as:

  • Communication with parents, family, etc.
  • Communication with participating students
  • Logistics coordination (transportation, supplies, housing, etc.)
  • Financial and administrative advice
  • Information gathering and processing (including media relations)
  • Liaison with the U.S. Embassy
  • Liaison with host country government, police, military, etc.
  • Liaison with the U.S. home campus


Who are the stakeholders?  The Emergency Response Team communicates necessary information to all stakeholders:  participants, family members, Cabinet, Board of Trustees, international partners, and campus community.  It is important to identify all stakeholders and to maintain regular contact with them throughout the emergency, apprising them of developments as they occur and providing appropriate support.


decision-making in time of AN EmergencY

The MassArt vice president who oversees the program will serve as the lead decision maker of the Emergency Response Team and will coordinate responsibilities and timelines.


In any emergency, the travel program leaders or partner institution representatives should immediately communicate with a member of MassArt’s Emergency Response Team directly.  When an inability to communicate makes consultation impossible, the local travel program leader or partner institution representative has the authority to close a program and evacuate the students using the emergency evacuation service (HTH if the group has been pre-enrolled).  Once a decision has been made to evacuate students, MassArt cannot be responsible for the safety of any student, faculty, or staff member who refuses to comply with the evacuation procedures arranged by a MassArt representative.


record keeping and administrative responsibilities during a crisis

Before departure, the administrative staff collects and compiles the following information about each student participating in a MassArt travel abroad program.  This information is shared with the vice president who oversees the program, public safety, and other offices as appropriate.

  • Student name and personal information (i.e., passport numbers)
  • Emergency contact information for students
  • Information about any special needs of students


In the event of an emergency, the travel program leader or partner institution representative, one person from the Emergency Response Team and each person involved in direct communication events during the crisis, keep a chronological log to record emergency developments and responses.  This record includes details of what has happened, the steps taken, who has talked with whom, and remaining follow-up actions that are needed.  This log can be very helpful at a time when stress may cloud memory. 


Additional administrative responsibilities will require attention in the event of a crisis.  The following are possible responsibilities of ERT parties:

  • Liaison with public authorities, domestic and abroad, and the travel abroad field (travel program leader/partner institution representative and ERT)
  • Communicate with parents (highest level members of ERT; the President if fatality)
  • Communicate with the Board of Trustees (President)
  • Communicate with the media (Director of Marketing and Communication)
  • Communicate with other appropriate partner universities/programs (member(s) of ERT)
  • Liaison with coordinators of other colleges who have students on a MassArt program (member(s) of ERT)
  • Obtain medical and psychological advice and share with travel program leader/partner institution representative to maintain student morale and anticipate potential problems among student, faculty, and staff (member(s) of ERT)
  • Gather and process information in print, on the Internet, and from public and private agencies (member(s) of ERT)
  • Coordinate logistics, i.e., transportation, supplies, housing (study tour leader/ partner representative with support from ERT)
  • Update student rosters (study tour leader/ partner representative and International Education Center)
  • Provide financial advice and assistance, i.e., emergency fund transfers (business office)
  • Collect inventory of student personal effects left in the country (study tour leader/partner representative)


It will be the responsibility of the ERT to support the travel program leader or partner institutional representative as much as possible in planning and to oversee the coordination of multiple people who may be contributing to this planning.


Public communications are coordinated through the Office of the Director of Marketing Communications, and all press inquiries should be referred to this office. 





  • Be factual – don’t speculate or give opinions
  • Be disciplined – be aware of what you say and to whom, and communicate on a need-to-know basis
  • Be discreet – maintain confidentiality; to protect the victim’s privacy in emergency response communications she/he will not be referred to by name, but by description (i.e. a 24 year old journalism student) or simply as “student.” However, internal conversations, which may involve the police, other security officials, university administrators, and the student’s parents/guardians, will reference the student by name.
  • Be compassionate – treat victims and families with utmost respect; emergencies are stressful
  • Be professional – anything you ever write or email may end up in court and never go away – anyone you speak to may be asked to recount the conversation in court


Family Communications

  • College should contact parents only if the student is still in danger (ex. missing) or is a danger to her/himself (ex. suicidal) or to someone else
  • If possible, have the student call parents in presence of travel program leader
  • Inform families early
  • Give a contact phone number as well as a call back time
  • Don’t give abroad contact info (unless you have good reason)
  • Keep them updated
  • Be factual, disciplined, discreet, compassionate and professional
  • Have a single contact person for the family and the College
  • Have student call parents back when the problem is resolved so they don’t continue to worry


Example of Emergency: Sexual Assault

  • Assess safety of victim and other participants and staff
  • Assess physical injuries
  • Message to victim: “We believe you, it is not your fault, we care about you”
  • Give options and control to victim; for example, she/he may want to manage the experience without parents being notified and this is her/his prerogative
  • Inform of immediate choices: morning after pill, retro viral drugs, shower/not (not showering will help maintain the integrity of evidence), rape kit (find out local laws, for example in some countries, by law, using a rape kit requires charges to be pressed against perpetrator)
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Help victim access counselor and medical care (available from HTH Worldwide or victim’s other travel emergency service); counselor and caregivers must speak the victim’s original language, in most cases English
  • Inform student of next options and provide assistance: stay in program abroad, return home, move to another site (if feasible); identify academic and financial impact of these options



VI. Planning for and Managing Evacuations

In order to manage evacuations, many programs use a three stage model to identify alert status based on the standard established by the U.S. embassies.  Stages must be clearly defined and communicated to participants.  The stages are:


Stage I – Standfast:  impending emergency, remain at site

Stage II – Consolidation:  go to prearranged assembly point, prepare for withdrawal

Stage III – Evacuation:  leave as a group for safe haven


Progression to and from stages would be determined by the on-site travel program leader or partner institution representative in consultation with the emergency evacuation service and, when possible, the MassArt Emergency Response Team, using the emergency information provided by the International Education Center office. These general plans serve as a starting point for travel program leaders and administrators to customize as the emergency warrants.


Specific action plans for each stage are communicated before any crisis to program participants and updated as necessary.  Specific action plans may include:

  • How participants will be notified about an emergency and the stage that is in effect, as well as how changes in the stage will be communicated to students
  • What participants must do (or not do) at each stage
  • What participants should bring and what to leave behind
  • What participants should say to local nationals, friends, and colleagues
  • MassArt procedures for notifying students’ families and emergency contacts
  • How to prepare (i.e., stock supplies, pack evacuation bag)
  • Instructions on how to move from one site to another.  When planning for evacuations, communication about travel methods and routes should be as specific as possible (over land, air, sea, private, commercial, and/or military). 
  • Alternatives/contingencies if plan fails (communications, travel, safe havens).  Alternative methods of travel and routes need to be presented and prioritized in the event that the usual routes are no longer safe or feasible.


VII. Country-Specific Emergency Information


HTH Worldwide ( has emergency contact information for each country where MassArt has travel programs, as well as medical and support resources in these countries.  In the event of an emergency, the in-country travel program leader or partner institution representative would serve as primary liaison for local resources.  The MassArt Emergency Response Team would support the travel program leader or partner institution representative with communications with local resources when possible and most effective.  


VIII. Guidelines for When to Contact MassArt

The following section provides advice to travel program leaders and international partner representatives regarding communication expectations for a variety of possible situations.  Contact will initiate the formation of an appropriate Emergency Response Team and enacts standard MassArt protocols as applicable. 


Immediate Notification of Public Safety Required

  • Serious illness or injury to student or travel program leader
  • Death of student or travel program leader
  • Student or travel program leader is a victim of violent crime
  • Student or travel program leader is accused of a crime
  • Student or travel program leader has an emergency at home that requires immediate action
  • Student or travel program leader is behaving in a way that endangers self, institution and/or creating a climate detrimental to success of students


Immediate Notification of Local Law Enforcement Authorities required

  • Student or travel program leader is a victim of violent crime
  • Student or travel program leader is accused of a crime
  • Loss of identification or passport


Notification of Local Law Enforcement Authorities recommended

  • Student or travel program leader is a victim of a non-violent crime


Immediate Notification of TRAVEL PROGRAM leader Required by MassArt

  • Student or travel program leader has an emergency at home that requires immediate action
  • Change in status of recommendations from national or international sources for country in which travel program takes place


Notification of the EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM Recommended within Two Days

  • Student or travel program leader has illness where class is missed for more than two days
  • Minor injury to student or travel program leader
  • Student or travel program leader is a victim of a non-violent crime
  • Student is not succeeding/adjusting
  • Student or travel program leader has an emergency at home that does not require immediate action


IX. After an Emergency


Once the emergency is over, a member of the ERT (in collaboration with the travel program leader and ERT members) prepares a final report that summarizes the emergency and MassArt’s response including:

  • How was MassArt impacted on site?  Who was involved in or affected by the emergency?
  • Do we have all students, faculty and staff accounted for?
  • Were there injuries?  Who was injured?  What were the injuries?  Have they been treated?  Has the family been notified?
  • Were there fatalities?  Have next of kin been notified?
  • Who provided assistance at the emergency site? 
  • What is the extent of property damage?
  • Who provided assistance to others in the program not affected directly by the emergency?
  • Are there special circumstances associated with the emergency that continue to present a danger?
  • What should have been handled differently?


A specially-appointed task force would also conduct an investigation to evaluate damage, determine how effectively the staff met the crisis, and discuss how to improve the response for the next occasion.  The findings would be reviewed and discussed by the ERT.  This investigation should include a review of the final report and any logs, interviews with witnesses, students, faculty, and staff affected, and other appropriate records or documentation. 





This document describes the efforts and plans made by MassArt to help participants enhance their safety and to help them respond to emergency situations.  Nothing in this document is a guarantee that any specific action will be taken in any given situation, nor is anything in this document a contract or part of a contract between MassArt and any other party.  Health, safety, and recovery from emergency situations are the sole responsibilities of each individual participant. 




  • Form for hotel/accommodations with MassArt emergency contacts
  • Personal Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

Emergency contacts for our group


This form is for the

Accommodations Front Desk and Manager




Group leader (name) __________________


Room number _________________________


Dates here _________________________


From Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt)

Boston, Massachusetts, USA



In case of emergency, please contact at least one of these people.


Tell them your name, where you are calling from, what happened, what you think needs to be done, how you can be contacted (your phone and fax numbers) and when you will be available to be contacted again.


Name and email Campus Police 24/7

Emergency Telephone 1 617 879 7800


Name and email Maureen Keefe

Telephone 1 617 879 7705


Name and email Erica Puccio

Telephone 1 617 879 7716


Name and email Rebecca Bacon

Telephone 1 617 879 1056



Thank you for helping to keep our group safe!

Guide for Study Abroad Students to
Develop a Personal Emergency Action Plan

Special thanks to the NAFSA SAFETI Consortium and the CSU Center for Global Education for the original development of this document.

In the event of a medical or political/security emergency:

For immediate assistance, contact HTH Worldwide:

Inside the US, call 1.800.257.4823

Outside the US, call +1.610.254.8771 (collect)

As an HTH customer, you are eligible for global emergency assistance, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

They can assist you to locate medical care, referrals, and medical or security evacuation and planning. 

If you require medical evacuation, you must contact HTH Worldwide in advance or your evacuation may not be eligible for reimbursement. 

Email or web (use your login and password)


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Contact MassArt Campus Safety

Emergency 24/7 Telephone: 1.617.879.7800


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This guide is designed to help you better cope during a crisis. Being able to deal well with a crisis situation includes understanding your emotions, keeping yourself as safe as possible, and communicating with your emergency contacts by creating and using your personal Emergency Action Plan (EAP).

While most students experience a safe and healthy time abroad, some are forced to deal with minor emergencies. Some of the more common minor emergencies that students may face abroad include:
pick-pocketing, petty theft, illness, injury, and the consequences of alcohol or drug use.

The majority of students can protect themselves from such minor emergencies in much the same ways they protect themselves from similar situations at home. However, what students consider a minor emergency here at home can turn into a more difficult to handle situation abroad. Small emergencies abroad can seem like larger ones due to language and communication barriers, and a lack of familiarity with foreign surroundings and legal structures.

In addition to minor emergencies, some students may also face larger emergencies abroad. Frequently, these major emergencies tend to be events out of a student's control. Some unpredictable, major emergencies that could occur abroad include: natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, criminal assaults or acts of terrorism, and serious medical problems.

A. Things to Do Before a Crisis Occurs

1. Create an Emergency Action Plan

The first step in crisis management is being prepared before a crisis occurs. Consider adopting a personal Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for yourself. Essentially, this document describes what actions to take in the event of an emergency. Your EAP could be as simple as a list of people to call in case you are hurt, along with copies of your insurance papers, passport, and names of any medications to which you are allergic. Please see the Emergency Planning section for how to create a personal EAP, and steps to take during an emergency.

2. Why Create an EAP?

The more support networks you have during an emergency or crisis, the more likely someone will be available to help you. Also, the better prepared you are ahead of time, the better chance you have of responding effectively to a crisis abroad. Therefore, it is important to set-up support networks, and an EAP, before an emergency occurs -- before you actually need assistance. Emergencies like natural disasters and political unrest are beyond a student's control, yet many students often have an invincible "that won't happen to me" attitude. We hope students change that attitude to "if that happens to me, I will be able to keep myself healthy and safe." Emergencies abroad may also result from accidents, injuries, and physical or mental health problems. Creating an EAP is a good first step towards keeping yourself healthy and safe in the event of an emergency or crisis abroad.

3. Who Needs a Copy of Your EAP?

Give copies of your EAP to your contacts abroad, and leave copies with appropriate contacts at home, which may include several family members and friends. Make sure to always keep a copy on hand for yourself as well. You should consider giving your EAP to the following contacts:


  In the U.S .:

                         Your primary home emergency contact (Power of Attorney)

                         Family members/relatives/guardian

                         Selected friend (s)

                         Your home campus Office of International Programs office



                         Your primary abroad emergency contact

                         Housing coordinator abroad/home-stay family member(s)

                         Friends or family abroad

                         Your abroad campus department(s) which maintains emergency contact information

                         Your study abroad program resident director or host family



4. How to Create an EAP

Getting to You: Ideally, try to develop detailed written directions so that someone would be able to locate you at your study abroad or travel location(s) in the event of an emergency. You may want to draw visual
aids or maps in addition to writing out instructions.

Getting Yourself Out: Then, try to develop detailed instructions for yourself, showing possible routes from your place of residence, hotel/hostel, work/internship and/or university/program abroad to a safe place. You may also want to include other places that you frequent, including shops, restaurants, subway stations, nightclubs, etc. You may want to draw visual aids or include a copy of a map in addition to writing out instructions.

Things to Consider: Remember, elevators may not function, and electric doors may not open in the event of an emergency; make sure to map out escape routes in which you take the stairs (or wheelchair ramps) rather than elevators. Consider carrying a small flashlight with you at all times in case the lights go out and you need to find your way through dark hallways or stairwells. Phone lines may also go down, so don't rely on calling someone to come pick you up. Have your Emergency/First Aid Kit available to take with you.

Programs and Groups: If you are studying abroad as part of an organized program, or traveling abroad in a group tour, your program/group may have designated emergency meeting points. At these emergency meeting points, program/group leaders may assemble emergency supplies, count participants to make sure no one is missing, and give instructions for what will happen next. However, your program/group may not have such an emergency plan (if your program/group has activities or response plans that don't seem appropriate for you, it is important to communicate your concerns, and feel comfortable that the arrangements are appropriate for you). Check to see what kind of emergency plan your program/group has. Even though you are with a program/group, you may have to rely on your own EAP to help you cope with a crisis. It is important to create a balance between what your program/group can do for you in an emergency, what your embassy/consulate can do, what your personal contacts can do, and what you will need to do for yourself.

On Your Own: If you are not studying/traveling with a program or group, it becomes even more crucial for you to create a detailed EAP; you might find yourself alone and entirely responsible for your own safety, your own evacuation, and your own well-being. If you are studying/traveling independently, try to establish emergency places to go (or meeting points) and escape routes, and always have your own emergency kit fully stocked and ready. If you are traveling independently, provide an itinerary for your trip. Check in with your emergency contacts by e-mail or phone from your various travel locations; this will help give them a general idea of where you are and where you are going. Even though you may be studying/traveling by yourself, you don't necessarily have to be alone in a time of crisis. Try to balance what your embassy/consulate can do for you, what your contacts might be able to help you with, and what you will need to accomplish on your own in an emergency.

Registration with the Embassy: Before you leave the US or when you arrive, register with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the country where you will be studying (if you are not a U.S. citizen, register with the embassy/consulate of your home country). Registering with the Consulate or Embassy will make it easier for them to contact you in case of an emergency and to assist you in case you lose your passport, etc. To better enable them to assist you, it is suggested that you sign the privacy release form when you register. Ask for a briefing from the consular officer on safety issues in the country where you are studying. 
For US residents  

Statistics to Know: Research statistics about the frequency of natural disasters, political turmoil, terrorism, technology disruptions (like power outages) in the countries in which you will be traveling. Prior to departure or immediately upon arrival, you should identify appropriate medical facilities in case of injury abroad. It is important to know before traveling whether your travel insurance will pay in advance for care, or whether you will need to apply for reimbursement. In the case of injury, the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs can assist your family in sending you the necessary funds to pay for your medical care. In some instances they can help arrange for your transport and accompaniment back home, although they won't pay for this.

Create and Carry the Orange Emergency Card:   Fill it in before departure. When you arrive write additional important information on the back. Leave a copy with your U.S. emergency contacts, with your abroad emergency contacts, and keep a copy with you at all times.

B. During and After a Crisis

1. Understanding Your Emotions - In response to a crisis, you may experience the following range of emotions. These feelings are normal responses to a difficult situation:

                         Disbelief Fear Anger

                         Anxiety/Panic Difficulty Concentrating Denial

                         Worry/Concern Stress Excitement

                         Depression Shock Other


2. Making Yourself Feel Safer - There are some things you can do to calm your emotions and make yourself feel safer in an emergency/crisis situation. The following list gives some tips on how to maintain your physical safety and mental health during a crisis:

                         Realize your feelings are normal

                         Find/make a safe environment

                         Maintain a basic self-care regimen (shower, shave, get dresses, exercise, etc.)

                         Avoid confrontation, both physical and verbal

                         Take one step at a time

                         Assess what you can and cannot control

                         Ask for help

                         Create a support network


3. The Phases of Crisis - The Peace Corps outlines the main phases of crisis, as well as common symptoms that may affect you during each phase as follows:

Phase 1: The initial phase when a crisis/emergency first occurs; may include a state of alarm,

mobilization, and action.

                         Physical Effects—rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, etc.

            Emotional/Behavioral Effects—excitement, anxiety, fear, irritability, denial, helplessness, confusion, hyper-activity, immobilization, etc.


Phase 2: The aftermath of a crisis/emergency, which can involve everything from clean-up to

war, and can last anywhere from days to years.

            Physical Effects—fatigue, lack of energy, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, weight gain/loss etc.

            Emotional/Behavioral Effects—depression, sadness, guilt, anger, mood swings, grief, flashbacks, poor concentration, avoidance, etc.

Phase 3: The recovery phase, when victims begin the transition back to what their regular

routines were like before the crisis occurred.

                         Physical Effects—return of energy, normal sleep and appetite patterns, return to a healthy

                         weight etc.

                         Emotional/Behavioral Effects—stabilization of moods, feelings of joy/pleasure, improved

                         thinking/working, socializing, return of interest/passions/hobbies, etc.


4. Know What To Do - Knowing the answers to the questions below can be a good first step in helping to keep you safer in an emergency by creating a personal EAP. If you need help drawing a map, finding escape routes or writing emergency preparedness directions/steps, consider asking yourself the following series of questions. You should really try to include answers to all of these questions in your personal EAP:


Know Where to Go Where should you go first in an emergency, and what method of transportation will you use to get there? Be aware of all your emergency transportation options. Know the numbers for the following:


                         Bus Station:

                         Train Station:

                         Metro Station:


                         Boat/Ferry/Port Authority:


Know Your Emergency Contact Information In addition to your personal emergency contacts, we also recommend you look up/ask for the numbers for the following individuals and agencies nearest to your study abroad and/or travel location(s):

                         City or country's 911 equivalent:

                         Local Government/Visa office:





                         Translator service:


                         Red Cross:

                         24-Hour Assist/Insurance Hotline:



Who will you call first, second, third, etc. in an emergency? Do your emergency contacts have each others' phone numbers so they can communicate and relay information about you to each other? What are some alternate ways of communicating with your emergency contacts? Who would you like those assisting you to contact in the event of your illness, injury, incarceration, kidnapping, etc…? Do all of your emergency contacts know what your wishes are in the event of your serious injury or death? Where does your nearest emergency contact live, and how fast can you get to her/him?

Back-up Plan/Special Conditions If the situation does not permit you to follow the original emergency plan, what is the back-up plan (Plan B)? Are there any other special conditions to consider which are unique to your situation (i.e. weather conditions/hazards in your region of study/travel, a personal physical handicap, poor public transportation or phone service in your area…)?

Emergency Kit/Money Which items do you still need to add to your emergency first aid kit before it is fully stocked and ready? Do you have emergency cash reserves, travelers' checks, credit cards, etc. on-hand, in case you can't count on banks/ATMs, or get to a bank/ATM? Using the emergency supplies and reserve money you have set aside, for how many days would you be able to sustain yourself and what would you use each day?

Documents that should be attached to your EAP : Copies of Passport and Visa, Emergency Assistance Hotline Information, Insurance Card/Information, Area Maps/Safe Routes, Emergency Card, Communication Sheets Traveler's Check Receipts, Information Release and Approval for Medical Emergency Care Form (contacts & care approval), Special Medical Needs Treatment Information, Power of Attorney, Home Drivers License


Print out the EAP Steps. Attach the appropriate documents and bring necessary items with you. In case of an emergency, follow the EAP Steps. Steps to help you stay calm and use your EAP more effectively in an emergency.


Remain calm. Take a deep breath. You will need a clear head in order to focus on your next move.


Assess the situation/Get Advice from Program Staff. Identify in what kind of emergency situation you find yourself. Contact program staff for advice. An emergency/crisis can be:

                         Personal: Accident/Injury, Death, Illness, Sexual Assault, Kidnapping, Arrest, etc.

                         Regional: Natural Disaster, Political Uprising, Terrorist Attack, War Outbreak, etc.



Take Action. Exercise good judgment. Follow your evacuation plan/written instructions/maps you have developed as part of your EAP to help remove you from the emergency and get you to a safer location where you can get help. Remember the alternate transportation options you have available.


Get in touch. Now that you are in a safer and more stable location, update others about your situation. Using a method of communication that is available, get in touch with your emergency contacts so they can help you. Have them assist you in finding what you need (medical care, transport, a lawyer, etc.)


Take care of yourself. While you are waiting for your contacts to assist you, or in case you cannot reach anyone to assist you, use your emergency kit. Take out the supplies you need to keep yourself healthy (bandages, food, jacket, radio, etc). You may need additional/continuing medical care and/or personal/psychological counseling.


Keep Trying. If you cannot get a hold of anyone to help you (because phone lines are down, you are trapped, etc) don't give up. Try alternate methods of communication and transportation until you are able to reach someone. If you need to move to another location, let others know and leave a written description of where you are going.



Move to a more permanent location. After you have removed yourself from any immediate threat, regrouped at a safer location, and gotten in touch with your emergency contacts, you may need to move to a more permanent location for treatment/assistance. Consider your transportation options and get yourself to the appropriate location (hospital, police station, embassy/consulate, contact's home, counseling center, etc.)


Stay in touch. Maintain contact and update your emergency contacts on your condition. It would be useful to have a "communication tree" whereby your emergency contacts can collaborate to help you through the emergency situation (you may need to have privacy release forms in place for this to happen).


Evaluate and revise your EAP. After the emergency is over, and once your condition has stabilized, evaluate your EAP and use what you've learned to revise it in case of future emergencies. Please provide feedback to your home campus and Office of International Programs about how other students might learn from your experience.


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