Coordinated the Emergency Evacuation of NGO Staff During a Military Coup
A deteriorating security situation that struck with no warning triggered the emergency response procedures of an international, Non-Governmental Organisation (iNGO) with local and expat staff in Myanmar.
Remote Incident Support
We received a call from the Country Director of an iNGO based in Myanmar who was calling from the roof via a satellite phone to inform us that he could hear screaming and gunfire on the streets, and that his internet and local phone service were down, and that there were no local channels on the Television.
At that point, a Military Coup was being reported as Breaking News on the BBC. The military had detained Politician and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other elected leaders, and a state of emergency had been declared.
We advised the Country Manager, who was new to the position, that he needed to locate all twelve members of his expat and local staff, which thankfully was relatively easy as they were all in the same housing complex.
As the iNGO complex was located close to government buildings, it became essential to relocate and hibernate all staff in a safe location until further risk assessments could be carried out, and further actions could be determined based on the risks presented as the political unrest unfolded.
We reached out to local Risk and Crisis Consultants in our partnerships network, which was made difficult by the fact that local communication networks had been blocked by the military, but we were able to successfully reach one.
The iNGO did have written contingency plans, and all staff were familiar with the plan. There was also the added benefit that all staff had attended Hazardous Environments Awareness Training (HEAT), and so they were familiar with what to do in this situation.
Inherent Risks' was able to provide immediate intelligence on the situation to the client that they did not have. We were able to deploy a Crisis Consultant to them, who was at the complex within the hour, and we were able to safely relocate and hibernate the staff in a safe, predetermined location for three-days, until the airport opened for relief flights and we were able to coordinate their flights safely out of the country. In addition, we were able to secure their assets in a safe location for their return to the country when the security situation improves.