February 19, 2004 - Peace Corps: Peace Corps Consolidates Volunteers in Haiti

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Haiti: Special Report: February, 2004: Haiti Peace Corps Information Center: February 19, 2004 - Peace Corps: Peace Corps Consolidates Volunteers in Haiti

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-42-145.balt.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 4:29 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Consolidates Volunteers in Haiti

Read and comment on this Press Release from the Peace Corps that volunteers are in consolidation in Haiti. Read our explanation of the three levels of alert (standfast, consolidation, evacuation) after this story at:

Peace Corps Consolidates Volunteers in Haiti*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Peace Corps Consolidates Volunteers in Haiti

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 19, 2004 –4:00 p.m. (EST) The Peace Corps announced this afternoon that efforts to consolidate its volunteers who have been serving in Haiti are now complete.

Because of the current civil unrest in some areas of Haiti, the Peace Corps has consolidated the volunteers as a precautionary measure. Consolidation involves moving volunteers to a secure location until the safety and security situation can be more clearly assessed.

“Volunteer safety and security is the number one priority of the Peace Corps. That is why this precautionary action was taken – to ensure our volunteers are secure until any concerns can be assessed and resolved,” said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez.

The Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. is in constant communication with the staff in Haiti. Peace Corps headquarters and post in Haiti will continue to monitor the situation in order to provide an accurate assessment of the ongoing security status.

Families are encouraged to contact Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services with any questions or concerns they may have. The Office of Special Services maintains a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week duty system. The telephone number during standard office hours is 1-800-424-8580, Extension 1470; the after hours number is 202-638-2574. The Office of Special Services may also be contacted via e-mail at ossdutyofficer@peacecorps.gov

More about Emergency Action Plans (EAP) for Peace Corps Volunteers

Read more about Emergency Action Plans (EAP) for Peace Corps Volunteers and the three levels of alert (standfast, consolidation, evacuation) with this excerpt from the EAP training module that all volunteers go through during training at:

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module the participants will be able to:

1. Define standfast, consolidation and evacuation stages;

2. Identify the consolidation point for their prospective site;

3. Describe at least two routes from their prospective site to their consolidation ?assembly points;

4. List the contents of an evacuation bag;

5. Provide specific emergency contact information at their prospective sites.

Key Learning Points

* The EAP is an important resource for every Volunteer;

* Every Volunteer has the responsibility to ensure their emergency contact information is accurate and up-to-date;

* The EAP is no substitute for common sense and good judgment;

Session I 45 minutes

A week prior to the scheduled Trainee site visits, distribute post EAP to Trainees instructing them to read through it and prepare to answer questions at a future session. A day or two before the scheduled visit convene "EAP Orientation" session, an open-book discussion. Ask participants the following questions:

What is the purpose of the EAP?

* To prepare for, mitigate, respond to and recover from a crisis situation.

What emergencies are identified in the EAP?

* medical emergency, family crisis, political instability, civil unrest, natural disaster.

What are the stages of alert? Please define them.

* standfast - impending emergency, stay at site, keep low profile

* consolidation - go to pre-arranged assembly point, contact PC office, prepare for withdrawal

* evacuation - leave assembly point, proceed to safe haven

Using the EAP as a reference have each participant find her/his prospective site and consolidation assembly point on a large country map. Which participants share the same assembly points? What information about the assembly point can the participants derive from studying the EAP and map? What are two possible routes from site to assembly point? What other information would they want to have? Where/to whom would they go to get it?

Distribute blank site locator forms to participants.

Why are site locator forms important?

* provide emergency contact information

* include detailed map in case of emergency transportation

* lists local support resources (clinic, police, other PCVs)

* incorporated into the EAP communication network

Emphasize the importance of keeping the site locator forms up-to-date and remind participants that it is their responsibility to do so.

Ask for any additional questions.

Session II 45 minutes

During the pre-site visit sessions incorporate the following exercises into the Trainees’ visit activities.

If the site locator forms have already been completed for prospective sites, provide each Trainee with a copy instructing them to verify:

* identity of contact persons and means of contact (tel., radio, etc.)

* accuracy of map

* location of clinic, police post, school, other support facilities

* standard housing criteria (doors, windows, locks, burglar bars, etc.)

If site locator forms have not been completed for prospective sites, provide the Trainees with blank forms and have them take a first cut at gathering the information listed above.

Debriefing. When Trainees return from site visit, gather feedback from them on the tasks outlined above.

o Which tasks proved difficult? Why?

o What did you learn that surprised you?

o Which training needs do you now feel need more attention?

Exercise. The participants will need their EAP and site locator forms during the exercise. Distribute scenario and list of questions (you may find it more appropriate to develop your own scenario).

Scenario. Imagine that you are now a PCV at your site. While you are preparing for a workshop scheduled to begin the next day (your first "big" activity), a local driver arrives at your site with a letter from the Peace Corps office that instructs you to immediately travel to your consolidation point.

Using your EAP and site locator form as references, take 15 minutes to describe how you would proceed. List at least 5 tasks.

o conduct property inventory

o pack emergency evacuation bag (list contents)

o inform counterpart to postpone workshop

o inform host family

o lock house arrange for security during absence

o travel immediately to consolidation assembly point (describe route)

o notify Peace Corps immediately upon arrival at consolidation assembly point

Ask participants to report out. List tasks on flip chart.

Ask for any additional questions.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Haiti; Safety and Security of Volunters



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