Although we pray that personnel serving in Thailand will not be faced with various contingencies, common sense and sound practice call for a policy to deal with various contingencies which might occur.
The purpose of the following document is:
- To help prepare FCF personnel in the case of a high risk, high impact crisis.
- To help advise FCF personnel of appropriate actions in the event of a high risk, high impact crisis.
Indeed, only those assessed as high risk/high impact have been included. Very often, clear thinking and good planning are hampered by the crisis at hand; therefore, a pre-understanding of preventative and procedural points is vital for the overall well being of FCF personnel and family members. In line with FCF requirements, this document will be updated annually (May 1), reissued and re-read by all parties involved.
Important Resources and Contact Information
- Tim Dunham
- Phone: 081-952-2205
- Phone: 053-131-248
- Fax: 053-131249
- 178/453 Worldclubland Moo7
- T.Nongkwai A.Hangdong
- Chiangmai 50230
Personal information that may be needed in an emergency is stored in the FCF database. Contact the Human Resources Department (email@example.com) if this information is needed.
If the emergency is personal in nature, you may contact FCF for access to emergency contact information and other needed information. FCF will help connect you to people and services that can assist in your situation. However, please note that FCF does not have a crisis/emergency team established to assist with personal emergencies. You may always contact FCF for support in providing information and connecting you to resources, but emergency help is primarily the role of your Supporting Body or community, not FCF.
If the emergency is related to an FCF project or legal/visa issues that are related to FCF involvement, immediately contact FCF for assistance. Once immediate procedures for any emergency have been taken (first aid, driving to the hospital, etc), call the appointed emergency contact and FCF if applicable.
Listen to national Thais and follow their instructions especially in the case of bites, snakes, local animals, etc. If in a team or group, stay together at all times throughout an emergency or establish a meeting place if you must separate.
Thai emergency numbers can be called if needed
- National emergency number: 191
- Fire brigade: 199
- Emergency medical services (EMS): 1669
Types of Crisis Situations
The purpose in addressing the various forms of incidents outlined below is to reduce unnecessary risk to our lives or harm to our work. In all things we need to remember that God is sovereign and works all things together for His purposes. The following categories may not cover every eventuality, but they describe the major types of crisis situations that we can foresee in Thailand.
Robbery & Armed Assault
Understanding the psychology at play in a face-to-face confrontation will enable you to avoid further provoking a hostile person and, in some cases, even defuse an aggressive one. A cooperative, respectful demeanor is your best defense. Armed assailants are most likely to shoot when they feel their own safety is threatened.
If you are directly threatened by an armed person:
- Never take physical risks in defense of property or money
- Keep your hands clearly visible (in a car, keep them on the steering wheel)
Remain calm and don’t panic, scream, etc. Do not be aggressive. If in a group, do not talk among yourselves more than is necessary, particularly if it is in a foreign language. Do what you are told within reason.
Travel (Road Accidents)
The possibility of being in a road accident in Thailand is extremely high due to the lack of enforced road rules and the high number of motorcycles on the road. We can’t prevent someone hitting us but we can take some precautions to avoid being involved in an accident:
- All Thailand team members who drive vehicles must have the appropriate local license with them while driving. New arrivals have a grace period covered by their home country license but will work through the process to obtain a local license soon after arrival.
- All office and personal vehicles will be covered by insurance and registered.
- Use extreme caution when driving; use particular care to look out for motorbikes.
- If an accident occurs (especially in the case of injury), the traffic police will be notified and come to the scene to fill out a report. You will be asked to go to the nearest station and sign the report. If you are not sure what you are signing OR if there are possible criminal charges involved, notify Tim Dunham who can seek advice of a local Thai solicitor and/or translator.
- The best prevention is obvious – drive safely!
Health / Medical Emergencies
General recommendations to decrease health risks:
- Keep a properly stocked first aid kit in your home, car, and project with the items suggested here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-kits/basics/art-20056673
- Ensure you are adequately vaccinated against the diseases which are prevalent in your particular field. You should check not only with your home physician but also a local physician after your arrival.
- Drink only bottled or boiled water; rinse your mouth with bottled or boiled water after you brush your teeth with tap water.
- Ensure all meat and vegetables are properly cooked. If you eat leftover food, ensure the food has been adequately heated (not just warmed).
- Avoid taking raw food and salad if not properly cleaned by yourself.
- Fruit must be thoroughly washed and its skin must be peeled before consumption.
- Avoid high risk activities and exercises.
- Helmet must be worn at all times when you use a bicycle or motorcycle.
- Ensure you drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
In the event of medical emergency or injury:
- Ensure that the area is safe before approaching the patient (check for broken glass, blood, etc.).
- Protect yourself first by wearing disposable gloves and proper shoes.
- If performing CPR, use a pocket mask equipped with a one way valve if possible.
- Treat all blood and body spills as if they are infectious:
- Stop any bleeding if you can.
- Contain spills immediately and then clean up the area.
- When removing contaminated clothing, turn it inside out to contain contaminants.
- Place all contaminated items in a trash bag/bin and label the bag so that others treat the contents with caution.
- Wash and scrub hands and affected body parts with soap and warm water.
- Stabilize the patient on site if possible. Be very careful in case there are any neck or back injuries.
- Clear any crowd away from the injured person.
- Stay with the person who has been injured. If you need to make phone calls to seek medical help, assign someone on the team to stay by the person.
- Get help in determining the medical problem and gather any resources (medications, emergency health information, etc.).
- Call the nearest hospital (hospital contact information listed at the bottom of this page) or drive the patient to the hospital.
- In case of a psychological emergency (suicide threat, psychotic episode, etc.), contact Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital (contact info listed at the bottom of this page) or take the person to the nearest medical hospital.
Death While on Field
Notify Thai police within 24 hours of the death. Contact emergency contact (who will then contact friends and relatives of the deceased). All followers of the deceased must leave the country within seven days. Contact FCF and immediately make arrangements for followers to leave the country.
- Notification of death (from the local hospital)
- Civil registry death certificate (from the Thai government office)
- Certified translation of death certificate (from a translation service)
- Letter of release (from the consulate/embassy).
- Passport of the deceased
- Dependent family members’ proof of relationship to the deceased
Contact the Sending Body:
- In some cases the sending body will have access to the wishes and details of the deceased.
- Either the sending body or the family of the deceased will be responsible for covering all transportation costs of the body to the home country and the costs of having personal effects packed and shipped.
Emergency Personal Travel
Occasions for emergency travel may include death or serious illness of an immediate family member. The volunteer must notify the Human Resources Department immediately of his/her proposed itinerary. You may contact them in person or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Crisis, Personal & Local
Personnel should ensure adequate funds in the bank at all times with some provision for unforeseen circumstances. FCF recommends having an emergency fund of 20,000 baht per person at all times. This amount should cover most unforeseen circumstances dealing with visa issues or emergency travel.
The financial crisis in the marketplace is not life threatening neither is it of great concern to you except for the foreign exchange. It is recommended that you should not keep all your savings in the country. Your passport country is where you should keep all of your excess funds.
Criminal Charges Against a Team Member or Leadership
This is a very real issue here in Thailand as our team has experienced firsthand. Issues can develop over very small cultural misunderstandings.
If you are criminally charged, do not personally confront the person(s) charging you. Immediately contact the Human Resources Department (email@example.com) who will contact a local Thai solicitor who will help us work through the process with you. Many times, these types of cases are settled before anything official is processed. But it is best to seek outside advice before confronting anyone yourself.
Above all, stay calm and don’t show anger toward your accuser as this will only make matters much worse in the Thai context.
Abduction / Kidnapping / Missing Person
Notify FCF immediately. FCF will be able to assist in attempting to contact the person and connecting you to legal assistance. Note: The Family Connection Foundation will not accede to any demands for ransom. Call emergency contact and sending body.
In the event that there is any general instability in country, it is important that you remain calm and follow the following procedures:
- Gather information through sources both formal (internet) and informal (ie. Thai Neighbors).
- Make initial contact with your direct supervisor and remain in regular contact (daily) to ensure FCF is able to pass along any relevant information
- Keep sufficient cash on hand to operate in country for as much as 1 month.
- Keep sufficient funds accessible to purchase emergency airfare to a safe location should the warning level require evacuation.
- Keep sufficient food and water in your home in the event that travel, and shopping are restricted.
- Confirm possession of passports and any other legal documentation that may be required for travel
- Confirm possession of local backups and print records for all core services and activities.
Parts of Thailand (including Chiang Mai) often experience river flooding every few years, generally during the rainy season. Keep up on local news to determine if local flooding is expected. If there are warnings, purchase sandbags to set up in front of doors around your house (or project), and move all electronic and valuable items from the lowest level of the building to higher levels. If possible, and safe, during a flood or when expecting a flood, shut off the electricity at the circuit breakers. If the route to your project or FCF office is blocked due to flooding, notify your project supervisor. Do not attempt to walk through streams of water or flooded roads during a flood. After a flood, let all electrical outlets and devices fully dry before touching them.
While earthquakes are not common in Thailand, they still occasionally affect the area. Ensure that your house or project building is safely built by checking for any large cracks in walls and having the foundation of the house inspected if you are unsure of its stability. During an earthquake do not rush outside. If you are outside stay away from buildings, power lines, bridges, etc. If inside, get under a desk, table, or doorway. If the route to your project or FCF project is blocked due to earthquake damage, notify your project supervisor or FCF and do not attempt to drive or walk through the damage.
It is important that everyone know the correct and proper line of communication in crisis situations. It is imperative, especially in this day of cyber-communication, that the sending body is kept in the loop. Personnel will understandably contact their families but should at the same time communicate with FCF leadership and the sending body. This ensures that when the sending body hears from concerned family or churches back home, they also have the ‘official’ report from the field.
Within the team the expression of ideas and feelings is encouraged, yet each person must be prepared to obey when final crisis related decisions are made. This means, that if and when the decision is made to evacuate the country for whatever reason, ALL FCF-related staff are expected to comply with this decision.
Line of Crisis Communication
Personnel - Project Director - Volunteer Coordinator - FCF President. The chain of command at FCF is:
- Tim Dunham
- Paul Meier
- Khun Dao
- Khun Noknoi
Crisis Management Committee
This team consists of the following FCF leaders: Tim Dunham, Paul Meier, Khun Dao and Khun Nok Noi. The FCF Crisis Management Committee is responsible to see that evacuation procedures are carried out as necessary.
Thailand Crisis Coordinator
The FCF Director, or his appointed representative, will serve as the Crisis Coordinator. This person will have the freedom to contact others who may assist him in the management of a particular crisis. For example, in the case of a personal security issue, there are significant pastoral resources available in Chiang Mai that could provide counseling and support to those who have suffered a personal security loss.
Public Relations Officer
If a crisis involves FCF taking a high media profile, then the Crisis Management Committee shall appoint a spokesperson to represent the foundation to the media. FCF members will avoid talking to media personnel, and should refer them to this spokesperson.
Minimizing the Impact of an Emergency
Each family should maintain the following in up-to-date condition and in easily accessed form.
- Either passports or their photocopies for EACH family member
- Drivers license or other forms of photo identification
- Copies of Birth Certificates and Marriage License
- A list of important telephone numbers, including FCF office
- Some US Dollars/Great Britain Pounds/Euros in Cash - at least $100 worth for each family member
- Some Thai Baht in Cash—at least several thousand
- Credit Card
In the event that funds are not available through Thai banking systems, FCF will administer EMERGENCY project funds in person at the FCF office only. Project should maintain cash on hand for 1 week of operations. Emergency funds are defined as funds that are required for the general safety of staff and project beneficiaries. In an emergency, FCF may decline any funds request that the crisis coordinator or his agent deems unnecessary.
- Supply of personal medications
- Complete first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, water purifying tablets, blankets or sleeping bags
- Tinned food, a container filled with drinking water
- Up-to-date field personnel contact list and printed copy of contingency plan
If you own a vehicle, ensure your vehicle is in good running order and keep a supply of emergency fuel on hand.
Meeting Points & Team Drill
Each family, team and project should decide on their own plan for where to go during natural disasters and what each person should do. All family members and visitors should be drilled/instructed on emergency procedures for a crisis situation such as an earthquake, flood, or other natural disaster. Each person needs to know what to do and where to go. The FCF team should have a detailed plan for dealing with an emergency, e.g. LIST of essential items you would want to take in event of an evacuation & keep it with your passport and important documents, medications, meeting point, evacuation plan, preventative measures, etc.
Specific Actions for Specific Situations
“Without having pre-determined trigger points in place, organizations find themselves measuring unfolding events against ‘how safe they feel,’ which is probably the least accurate - and certainly the least objective - criteria upon which to base security decisions. Organizations should determine, in advance, what ‘trigger points’ would cause them to take what types of contingency actions.”
~ Crisis Consulting International
Chart of Trigger Points and Actions
Level 0 - Code Green
Normal life in Thailand
- Register with the embassy of your home country
Level 1 - Code Blue
- General unrest in country, riots, open expression of anti-Western or anti-Christian sentiment
- Use greater caution when going out of your home, avoid known trouble spots (e.g. mosques, university campuses), to the extent possible, try not to draw attention to yourself as a foreigner (e.g. sit well inside a songteaw or tuk-tuk)
- Increase information gathering, e.g. maintain regular contact with trusted locals who will inform you of local sentiment, read local newspapers, listen to foreign and local news broadcasts, etc.
- Ensure that travel documents and extra cash are on hand.
- Ensure that your current contact information (address, email address(es), and phone number(s)) are on file with the Human Resources Department. Updates can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be aware of clothing COLOR and modesty as it relates to the political situation.
Level 2 - Code Yellow
Specific threats of harm to foreigners or foreign organizations
Closing of Office
- Crisis Management Committee will begin to meet.
- Consider sending Short-Term Volunteers home.
- Prepare specific Family Evacuation plan.
- Prepare FCF files and accounts for possible handover to National staff.
Level 3 - Code Orange
Harmful action taken against foreigners from organizations similar to ours
Embassies send home non-essential staff
- Request the delayed return of teammates currently out of the country. Postpone the arrival of any Short-Term Volunteers.
- Make explicit preparations for the handover of the running of offices to National staff.
- To the extent possible, prepare for the safety and livelihood of National Staff.
- Gather travel documents, money, light travel bag, etc. in order to be ready for any rapid action that may be required.
Level 4 - Code Red
- Request to FCF members to evacuate by embassy.
- Those who want to go and those who are at greater risk of harm (e.g. children) should be evacuated to a safer location.
- Destroy files that include sensitive information.
- Those who want to stay should take all possible preparation in order to be ready to react to any emergency on very short notice.
Level 5 - Code Black
Specific temporary threat of harm to foreigners or foreign organizations
- Do not leave your house if at all possible.
- Maintain contact with other FCF members.
- Temporarily close offices if necessary.
Places of Refuge
Our homes are usually quite safe. Bangkok is usually more tension-prone than Chiang Mai and rural areas. In serious emergencies, our home country embassies may be open for refuge. For most situations requiring exit from Thailand, Singapore would likely be a suitable neutral location.
Evacuation Travel Options
In Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia it is possible to obtain free visas upon entry. These could be likely evacuation destinations on short notice.
Other Evaluation Details
Volunteers will evacuate if their sending organization or The Family Connection Foundation require that they do so. If the worker chooses to remain against the recommendation of the in-country administrative team, The Family Connection Foundation and the sending body are not liable for the consequences of the volunteer’s decision. Expenses incurred as a result of evacuation will be paid according to the sending body policy and the applicable portions of any Memorandum of Understanding. The FCF representative is responsible for providing a general evacuation plan to each volunteer. The volunteer should make travel arrangements via the most expeditious means available. Volunteers should keep the consular officer informed of changes of address and keep in close contact with the embassy during an evacuation.
Re-entry After Evacuation
Since an evacuation could result from a variety of events and last for any length of time, it is difficult to predict a plan for re-entry. If FCF were to evacuate and then be given the opportunity to return, the Crisis Management Committee (shown above) would plan the reentry process and notify staff and volunteers of the plan. In this situation, all who evacuated should not attempt to return until notified by FCF. This is due to the need for the FCF office to be set up before being able to provide visas and resources to the staff and volunteers.
Important Telephone Numbers & Addresses in Thailand
- British Honorary Consulate: 198 Bumrungraj Road, Muang Chiang Mai 50000 THAILAND Telephone: +66 (053) 263 015, Fax: +66 (053) 263 016, E-mail: email@example.com, Opening hours: 0900 to 1130, Mondays to Fridays
- Canadian High Commission: C/o Raming Tea Co., Ltd., 151 Moo 3, Super Highway, Tambon Tahsala Chiang Mai, 50000 THAILAND Telephone: (011 66 53) 850 147 and 242 292 Fax: (011 66 53) 850 332 and 850 147 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- US Consulate: Consulate General in Chiang Mai, Address: 387 Witchayanond Road, Chiang Mai 50300, THAILAND Tel: +66 (053) 252-629, Fax: +66 (053) 252-633, Home Page: https://th.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulate/chiang-mai/
- South Korean Honorary Consulate: V Group Building 3rd Floor, 50 Huai Kaeo Road, Tambon Chang Phueak, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, 50300 THAILAND, Phone: +66 (053) 233 120 ext: 204, Fax: +66 (053) 225 661, Email: email@example.com
- Chiang Mai Emergency Numbers: 191 Mobile Police 199 Police; Fire
- Chiang Mai Fire Department: +66 (053) 241 227
- Chiang Mai Ram Hospital: Chiang Mai +66 (053) 224 851; +66 (053) 224 861; +66 (053) 224 871
- McCormick Hospital: Chiang Mai +66 (053) 241 311, Fax: +66 (053) 241 177
- The Well - Member Care Centre Chiang Mai Telephone: +66 (053) 812 974, Contact: http://www.thewellintl.org/contact-us
- Cornerstone Counseling Center: Telephone: +66 (053) 200 952; +66 (053) 922 410, Fax: +66 (053) 922 410, Contact: http://www.ccfthailand.org/contact/
- Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital: Telephone: +66 (053) 908 500, Address: Chang Lor Rd, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand