FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Q—What safety or security precautions are being taken to ensure that volunteers will be safe while on the field?
A—The field does not cancel volunteer projects except in the case of extreme circumstances. The local field missionary, who has the greatest knowledge and understanding of any potential danger or threat to volunteer team members, makes decisions on cancellations of volunteer projects in times of emergencies.
- We monitor situations and we have field personnel who closely monitor all situations.
- Where situations dictate, a crisis management team will let the appropriate IMB personnel know if it becomes unsafe for volunteers to come.
- All IMB field personnel maintain current evacuation plans for their families and any volunteers that may be serving with them. These plans differ by location, so you will need to check with the missionaries with whom you will be working on the field to see what is in place.
2. Q—What do I do if I have an emergency while traveling, while on the field, or on the way home?
A—Only medical emergencies can be reimbursed by insurance. However, emergencies of a medical (including emergency medical evacuation), legal, and transportation nature may be reported to Specialty Assist (SAS). Gallagher Charitable International Insurance Services will provide you with a telephone number for SAS with 24 hour service. Call SAS first. By simply calling the telephone number provided, the 24 hour service will assist you by providing medical assistance, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, family coordination and/or legal assistance. If you have a life or otherwise threatening situation, GET HELP first (local help appropriate to situation), then call SAS.*IMPORTANT NOTE: Changes to your flights (including emergency evacuation) made without first contacting SAS will result in your being held responsible for substantial costs. SAS must make the arrangements for any emergency travel and other major expenses. SAS does not provide reimbursement for loss incurred due to acts of war, weather, etc. while on the field. However, they will provide assistance at no charge with changing flight arrangements if it becomes necessary due to one of these reasons while on a trip. They can also provide assistance (not monetary) for other types of problems on the field. Only medical emergencies are covered for reimbursement.
3. Q—What should I do if I need to cancel my volunteer trip?
A—If you decide to cancel a volunteer assignment for any reason, please notify your field contact as soon as possible so they can open the project up to other groups.
4. Q—What can I do before I go to ensure that I am taking every possible safety and security precaution?
A—It would be good to monitor the State Department’s website, which lists all travel warnings that they have in effect. Purchase your travel insurance. It is advisable for volunteers to register at the local US Embassy in the country to which they are traveling. Some embassies now allow registration on-line. Click on the embassy for the country you will visit and click on "U.S. Citizens Services" to determine if on-line registration is allowed. In some cases, your field personnel can do this prior to the team’s arrival. This will ensure that the volunteers are notified if the US Embassy in that country mandates any emergency steps.