Repatriations of Remains | Scope of Risk

While not actually a specific risk type, rather the result of a crisis, repatriations can present a threat to the company if poorly managed. The repatriation of an employee's remains can be a challenging and emotive task for a manager under the best of circumstances. Often repatriation will be managed by a CRT, rather than by an IRT, as the movement of any remains will typically occur over a more protracted period of time. That said, the initial actions taken under the IMP will support the overall process, as the IRT will typically manage the first stages of a fatality event. When the fatality has occurred within a remote area, or in a country with limited infrastructures, repatriation can become significantly more difficult, and often an IRT will play a more involved role within the first stages of a repatriation. It is important that repatriations are effectively managed through every stage of the crisis, not only to reflect the moral obligation a company may have to the deceased and the loved ones, but also to safeguard the employee's insurance claim, as well as protect the company from reputational and liability suites.
Add a note hereRepatriations will differ in nature and complexity, depending on the company, its location, and the insurance requirements and support mechanisms in place. The condition of the deceased, both at the time of death and due to any deterioration that might occur during the repatriation process itself, will also affect the nature and impact of the process. Repatriations may consume considerable amounts of a management team's time and resources, as there are considerable procedural and documentation requirements to move a person's remains both incountry and across international borders. The following considerations should be included in repatriation:
§  Add a note herePossession Considerations.: Ensure that all personal effects are collected and inventoried by appropriate managers. All valuable effects should travel in the casket with the deceased. Inventories should travel with the casket, with copies held by the country CRT.
§  Add a note hereReligious Considerations.: Management should confirm the religion denomination and requirements of the deceased, requesting support in terms of blessings in accordance with particular beliefs.
§  Add a note hereCommunication Considerations.: Management may wish to close down lines of project communications to enable the CRT to personally notify the family, preventing erroneous information from being transmitted from the site of the incident. Media inquiries should be routed through the public relations division. Employees should be advised as to the situation as quickly as possible and appropriate.
§  Add a note hereContribution Considerations.: Under some circumstances it might be appropriate to gather contributions for the family. The company may wish to arrange a bank account for money to be deposited into.
§  Add a note hereTravel and Escort Considerations.: The deceased should be escorted to the family to ensure that all problems are solved en route. A travel plan should be written to minimize errors. A contracted funeral director will require the following information: the deceased's name, passport number, nationality, and passport issue location.
§  Add a note hereEmbalming and Autopsies.: Definitive requirements for autopsies should be established to protect the deceased's insurance policy. Formal notification of a requirement prior to embalming should be gained from the insurer. Embalming is typically a requirement prior to air transportation and should be conducted after the autopsy, as it would interfere with results.
§  Add a note hereClothing Considerations.: On completion of the autopsy and embalming process, suitable attire should be placed on the deceased. This should be taken with the escorts and should reflect cultural requirements. Body shapes may also change noticeably after death or an autopsy, and dressing a corpse can be problematic.
§  Add a note herePay Considerations.: Remaining wages should be paid immediately to the family. Bank account details should be confirmed to ensure that the deceased's bank account has not been frozen and the next of kin can receive the outstanding wages immediately.
§  Add a note hereInsurance Considerations.: The corporate CRT should confirm whether an autopsy is required. If one is required, the deceased should not be embalmed until the autopsy is complete. Local, regional, or national autopsy facilities should be identified. International facilities may be required, en route to the deceased's family location, to conduct any autopsy. Clear guidelines should be issued by the corporate CRT to meet insurance requirements.
§  Add a note hereDocumentation Considerations.: The family will be required to provide a letter of authority for the conduct of an autopsy. Marriage licenses and other proofs of relationship will be required for insurance purposes. The contracted funeral provider assisting with the movement of the deceased must have all necessary documentation emailed in advance, and, in addition, must have specific information on the family's contracted funeral provider in order to secure an air waybill permitting onward air travel. All hard copies should be sent with the deceased.
§  Add a note hereMedical Considerations.: The family must be informed that the deceased may require an autopsy and must be embalmed in order to permit travel on civilian airlines. Medical documentation must be secured from the relevant appropriate person.
§  Add a note hereTravel Requirements.: The aircraft number, departure point, departure date, departure time, arrival point, and arrival time must be documented so that multiple groups can be coordinated within the process.
Add a note hereIt is imperative that the IRT receives appropriate guidance in order to safeguard the family's emotional and insurance welfare, as well as the company's reputational and liability exposure. The IMP initiates the requirements of a repatriation; however, more matured policies and officers should quickly assume responsibility for this form of crisis situation. Repatriations can easily go wrong, and strict management is required to move a deceased's remains across international borders.

Chemical, Biological, or Radiological Threats | Scope of Risk

The likelihood of a chemical, biological, radiological (CBR), or (or in extreme cases) nuclear attack is remote. However, the probability of such threats, whether delivered through advanced delivery mechanisms or through radioactive dirty bombs, will likely increase over time as terrorist organizations seek to obtain weapons of mass destruction. In addition, common explosives mixed with toxic chemicals can create makeshift chemical threats. Indicators that a chemical or biological attack has taken place might be groups of people displaying unusual behavior, and dead birds or animals in close proximity. Mist, clouds, or pools of unusual liquid or abnormal smells should be treated with suspicion; in places that have sensor equipment, an alarm may sound.
Add a note hereThe symptoms of a chemical attack may include pinpointed pupils and dimness of vision, red or irritated eyes and skin, choking and coughing, vomiting, nausea, and convulsions or seizures. Chemical agents may be heavier than air and sink into gullies, craters, and lowlying areas. The correct response is to cover the mouth and nose, move away from the area, and decontaminate with the use of water or other specialist materials. The effects of a biological attack may not be seen immediately, as they take time to develop after exposure, but may include a number of indicators, such as flulike symptoms, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea. If personnel believe they have been attacked with a biological agent, they should cover their noses and mouths, move out of the area, and seek immediate medical help.
Add a note hereExposure to radioactive material is not (typically) immediately lifethreatening, and the danger diminishes with the distance placed between the source and the individual. Personnel should be aware that dust and debris may carry radioactive materials that can be ingested or absorbed through the skin. Again, personnel should cover their noses and mouths and move away from the area, washing off dust and debris at the earliest opportunity. The effects of a nuclear attack will be immediately apparent and devastating. The effect of a nuclear detonation would be heat, blast, and radiation. Nuclear detonations that take place in the atmosphere create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which will seriously damage electronic devices connected to power sources or antennas. This includes communication systems, computers, electrical appliances, and automobile or aircraft ignition systems. The damage could range from a minor interruption to actual burnout of components. Most electronic equipment within 1,000 miles of a highaltitude nuclear detonation could be affected. Batterypowered radios with short antennas generally would not be affected. Although an EMP is unlikely to harm most people, it could harm those with pacemakers or other implanted electronic devices. If personnel are in the area of a nuclear detonation and are uninjured, they should leave the area and place themselves upwind of the blast to avoid radioactive fallout.
Add a note hereAlthough the threats associated with chemical, radioactive, and biological risks are significant, there are some simple measures that can be taken to help protect personnel and facilities:
§  Add a note hereCover the mouth and nose with a wet cloth.
§  Add a note hereSeal a building or room by closing air vents, windows, and doors using adhesive tape to prevent contaminants from entering.
§  Add a note hereMove to higher ground, as dust and other gaseous toxins will settle.
§  Add a note hereDrink only bottled water and sealed or protected food.
§  Add a note hereIf in a vehicle, personnel should close all windows and vents, and turn off airconditioning.
§  Add a note herePersonnel should move upwind of any event location as soon as safely possible.
Add a note hereThe IMP should be designed to offer simple and pragmatic advice and guidance to allow personnel exposed to chemical radioactive or biological threats, whether makeshift and unrefined or more conventional in nature. Measures should be pragmatic and should not alarm personnel—the IMP aims to implement measures by which to reduce contamination hazards, as well as create safe conditions for personnel to weather a crisis until government agencies can respond.

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