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ACTE and International SOS Briefing Paper Provides Travel Directors With Tools and Knowledge on Medical and Security Evacuations

August 21, 2014 Association No Comments Email Email

Recent research shows that when it comes to letting travelers know about the policies, procedures and resources that are in place to protect their safety and well-being, most (44-percent) who are in charge of these programs said they only communicate this information once a year.
Eleven percent communicate their programs weekly; 18-percent monthly and 27-percent quarterly.

“Communication is key when it comes to letting travelers know who to call when they need assistance,” said Robert L. Quigley, MD, D.Phil, Regional Medical Director and Vice President of Medical Assistance, International SOS. “One and done – or even once a year – is not enough. Talking about the process at every opportunity ensures travelers and expatriates know where to turn if they need help.”

The solution to this “tripwire” is to not only communicate regularly with travelers, but to get this information to them before a trip so they know where to turn when they are on assignment or away from home. That information is part of a new briefing paper, Evacuate Me! Eight Tripwires to Avoid, which shares tripwires and best practices for not only planning for emergency evacuations, but for avoiding them through proactive decisions and policies.

The paper is based on an educational webinar co-hosted by International SOS and The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) which was designed for travel directors and managers for global organizations, as well as professionals who manage or are responsible for employees overseas.

“Business travel managers will eventually face some type of medical or security crisis requiring the evacuation of one or more international business travelers,” said Greeley Koch, ACTE’s executive director. “Disasters are unexpected and can happen anywhere, so it’s important to be prepared, to keep your travelers aware of the process, and know how to reach all of your travelers at any given time.”

Participants in the webinar were also asked “How do you think the travel industry and practitioners can help keep travelers healthy and safe?” Fully 20-percent – the most popular answer – said “more communication with travelers.” Another question asked the avenue of communication, with the most popular answers being Emails and intranet site (41-percent each), followed by newsletters (12-percent) and social media (5-percent).

Other tripwires addressed include understanding roles and responsibilities, issues that delay evacuations and understanding how assistance and insurance works during an evacuation. Solutions for these common issues are also addressed, as well as a discussion on Duty of Care and what it means to organizations.

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