With the rising tensions in the Korean peninsula, governments such as Japan’s and the US’s have not left anything to chance by investing heavily in practicing the evacuation of their citizens in the event war. This is a smart move, considering the chaos, confusion, and sometimes panic that often accompany such events. Every organization that employs people in Korea and adjacent countries that may become a war zone with little or no warning should also take proactive steps to ensure the smoothest and safest evacuation of its employees, if and when necessary.
Some organizations employ the services of professional executive protection (EP) companies. Such outfits have, most likely, already taken steps to prepare their clients by ensuring proper protocols are in place for coordination with internal and external resources, and emergency communication with their clients.
Here are a few common sense guidelines for surviving the eruption of hostilities while you’re in a foreign land:
The two most important things to remember when preparing for emergency evacuation are planning and awareness.
- Prior planning is key; pay attention to your environment and start planning – preferably with the help of an expert or as part of your organization’s emergency evacuation plan.
- Make sure that all your essential documents (e.g., passport) are in a place where they are both safe and accessible. Concurrently, make sure you have copies of all essential documents in separate locations (e.g., work, home). Ensure that you have emergency funds (both cash and credit) always within reach.
- Pack an emergency evacuation bag with a few items of clothing that will be essential for a day or two, your daily medications if any, emergency cell phone and chargers/batteries. Use a backpack instead of a suitcase.
- If such an evacuation plan already exists within your organization, study it carefully and ask for clarification regarding any aspect that is not totally clear to you; don’t hesitate to ask and don’t assume prior knowledge.
- Make sure that all the provisions of the existing plan are up to date, contact numbers are current, contact persons are still in place, routes are not under construction, airports are still functioning, and seaports access routes are current.
- Make sure you are familiar with all the routes and with at least one alternate route for each primary one. These are not things you want to learn during an emergency.
There are several stages to an evacuation process:
- Alert Stage – The situation has not deteriorated yet, but it certainly needs monitoring, and preparations (by yourself and your evacuation professionals).
- Alarm Stage – You should be ready to move at a moment’s notice (have your emergency pack within immediate reach).
- Evacuation Stage – Hopefully, your evacuation specialist will accompany you during the evacuation stage; you should be attentive to instructions; do exactly what you’re told to do, and respond immediately and accurately. Otherwise, execute the plan you practiced and be alert to changing circumstances and ready to alter your plan in real-time.
- Arrival Stage – Upon completion of the evacuation stage, your specialist, or your receiving outfit will ensure your resettlement and/or continuing transit as planned.
Remember, you may get only one chance to get yourself out of harm’s way; the more you leave to chance, the less chance at survival you may have.
Want to learn more about ensuring the safety and security of your employees in conflict zones? Contact Us.