International Studies & Programs

Home > Faculty and Staff > Education Abroad Program Directors > Responding to Incidents Abroad > Emergency Action Plan & Incident Reporting

Emergency Action Plan & Incident Reporting

Program directors should consider the health and safety risks that could impact their program and should take steps to mitigate those risks. You should also develop plans to respond to incidents appropriately and understand incident reporting procedures.

Emergency Action Plan

As you review the On-Site Operations Manual and attend a Critical Incident Management seminar, consider the health and safety risks that may impact your program and develop mitigation strategies and response procedures tailored to your program. 

Use this Emergency Action Plan (EAP) Checklist to develop and record procedures specific to your program.

Here are some key component of your EAP:

  1. Identify emergency numbers and share with your students
  2. Identify on-site emergency contact persons and share their information with students
  3. Develop a communication plan with your students
  4. Identify emergency meeting spot(s) and share this information with your students
  5. Develop a health care access plan including recommended local facilities for outpatient care, emergency care, and COVID-19 testing.
  6. Develop a student support plan in the event that a student needs to self-quarantine due to COVID-19.
  7. Consider how you will mitigate health, safety, and security risks related to your program
  8. Develop an incident response plan using the On-Site Operations Manual 
  9. Distribute "Staying Health and Safe Abroad" tri-fold cards to students during pre-departure orientation 

Responding to Emergencies Abroad

  1. Confirm the safety and well-being of all education abroad program participants.
  2. Seek appropriate medical care and/or get to a safe location. If you or an education abroad participant needs emergency assistance, contact the local emergency authorities (PDF).
  3. Follow the advice of local authorities. Often this will include sheltering in place.
  4. If you need to communicate the well-being of your program, contact the Office for Global Health, Safety, and Security. If you need immediate help or guidance call the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Line at +1-517-353-3784.
  5. Implement any instructions given and communicate instructions to your education abroad program. Maintain communication with Office for Global Health, Safety, and Security using phone, text, email, or social media as agreed upon.

In case of a critical incident, you should be prepared to be on-call 24/7 until the situation is resolved. 

In the event of a major incident, Office for Global Health, Safety, and Security can assist with:

  • Accounting for students.
  • Responding to concerned parents.
  • Communicating with emergency contacts.
  • Updating MSU officials including the Office of Education Abroad.
  • Managing media inquiries.
  • Assessing the safety of your location for continued program presence.

In an emergency abroad your, primary responsibility is safeguarding the well-being of your participants. MSU will reimburse program directors for any expenses incurred as a result of an emergency.

Incident Reporting

The Office for Global Health, Safety, and Security is responsible for coordinator the university's management of health and safety incidents on education abroad programs. We have developed robust procedures to respond to incidents and are connected to campus and external partners that can help us resolved issues effectively and appropriately. 

To report an urgent issue, contact the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line at +1-517-353-3784.

For non-urgent issues, please email the Office of Global Health, Safety, and Security at globalsafety(at)  

Please report any incidents that:

  • are disruptive (or potentially disruptive) to the program 
  • affect (or have the potential to affect) the health, safety, and security of the program and/or its participants
  • violate MSU policies (e.g. the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct policy, the Anti-Discrimination Policy) or federal laws (e.g. the Jeanne Clery Act)
  • you need help resolving

You are encouraged to report incidents even if they have been resolved on-site. We appreciate your collaboration keeping our office aware of incidents that occur on programs. This helps you and your students get the support you need and allows our office to better understand the health and safety needs of education abroad programs. 

Questions? Need help?

Do not hesitate to contact the Office for Global Health, Safety, and Security. We are here to support you!