F. Safety and Security


The safety and security of everyone on the team is a responsi-bility of every team member, regardless of his or her position on the team. The goal is to prevent accidents and injuries, avoid situations that compromise personal security, and protect the safety and health of all team members on and off the job. When a team member becomes sick, injured, or involved in a security incident and must be cared for, rescued, and possibly evacuated, the team’s ability to deliver the maximum assistance possible to those affected by the disaster is diminished.


The following checklist for safety and security covers some of the general issues team members should be aware of before they depart and throughout their deployment. If a written Safety and Security Plan is available, team members should obtain a copy. Team members should get briefings before they leave on the safety and security situation in the disaster area and stay current on these issues when deployed. If the team has a Safety/Security Officer, team members should get briefings and a copy of the Safety and Security Plan from this team member.

1. Safety and Security Checklist

  • WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT-ALWAYS! Vehicle accidents are often the greatest potential risk to team members during a deployment. Drive safely and be aware of local driving hazards; if you have drivers, insist that they maintain safe speeds.
  • Keep informed about safety and security issues throughout your assignment.
  • Maintain regular communication with the team.
  • Learn and adhere to security and safety standards, protocols, and procedures.
  • Be aware of personal safety/security hazards or concerns, including:
    • Signs of danger (culturally, politically).
    • Areas of danger (crowds, mined areas, factional borders).
    • Physical danger (increase in criminal activity, increase in factional fighting, shelling, shooting).
  • Be knowledgeable of the communications portion of the Safety and Security Plan, including:
    • Frequencies in use by team and others (UN/PVOs/NGOs/ IOs or donors).
    • Contact/call-in protocols among team members and with USAID/Embassy.
    • Secondary backup systems and protocols.
    • Radio procedures.
    • Copies of frequencies, procedures, etc., available in the office and vehicles.
  • When traveling, get briefings and prepare a travel plan follow-ing the Safety and Security Plan protocols, which include:
    • Briefings on road and security conditions.
    • Routes to be driven.
    • Check-in points and procedures.
    • Planned stops.
    • Points of contact at stops.
    • Timeframe for trip.
    • A list of items taken for safety or security reasons (personal gear, extra food or water, vehicle equipment spares, security items, etc.).
    • At the conclusion of the travel, close out travel plan and debrief the Safety and Security Officer or Team Leader on the road and security conditions.
  • Be knowledgeable of the Security Evacuation Plan located in the Safety and Security Plan, which should include:
    • Coordination and communication systems and protocols with team, Embassy/Mission, and possibly U.S. military.
    • Shutdown procedures (collection or destruction of sensitive materials and equipment).
    • Location of secure assembly points with stay-or-go procedures.
    • Survival equipment and supplies, and potential need for protective clothing (amount, location, access).
    • List of personal items to take or leave in an emergency and location of those items.
    • Transportation methods for evacuation (road, air, water).
    • Evacuation routes (airport, border, specific road) marked on maps.
    • Vehicles equipped and prepared for evacuation.
    • Plan rehearsed or discussed and each team member’s role defined.
  • Be knowledgeable of the Medical Emergency Plan located in the Safety and Security Plan, which provides the following:
    • Location and methods to contact medical facilities.
    • Points of contact and methods for notification of the situation.
    • Transportation/evacuation plan for victim(s), including ground and/or air.
  • Share the Safety and Security Plan with cooperators, as appropriate, and seek to obtain their plans.
  • Understand notification procedures for serious incidents (e.g., injuries, deaths, kidnappings).
  • Report hazardous conditions and other safety/security concerns to your supervisor and also to the Safety/Security Officer, if one is on the team.
  • Find out about fire detection and protection procedures in lodgings; check for exits.

TOC: General Responsibilities and Information

Last updated: January 4, 2017