The below summarizes the DIS emergency response and contingency plan:
1. Contact with Authorities
DIS maintains a relationship with the American Embassy both in Copenhagen and Stockholm. All students are registered with the U.S. Department of State’s STEP program for their studies at DIS. Students are encouraged to register themselves with STEP for independent travel before, during and after their program.
DIS makes every reasonable effort to keep abreast of local conditions and changes in local health and safety risks and to inform the appropriate parties of these changes. In addition to information received through U.S., Danish and Swedish authorities, DIS staff both in the U.S. and Europe closely monitor multiple news sources, security resources, and insurance company notifications.
3. Security Advising
Students are advised of security procedures during the DIS Arrival Workshops and throughout their term with DIS. The most important person responsible for any student’s safety is the student themselves. Students are advised to review DIS health and safety resources, pre-departure materials, and all other information communicated by DIS during the program.
4. Communication: Students to DIS
In the case of a serious health or safety emergency students are encouraged to contact staff at their DIS location as soon as possible. DIS Copenhagen and Stockholm both monitor an after hours Health and Safety Emergency Phone outside of business hours. Students and families will receive electronic emergency contact cards that can be downloaded to smart phones and electronic contact databases. Parents, guardians, and friends in the U.S. are encouraged to contact the North American Office during business hours and the North American Office after hours Health and Safety Emergency Phone when the office is closed.
Additionally, during study tours, students are given the numbers of the tour leaders’ cell phones, and can call these 24 hours a day.
5. Communication: DIS to Students
DIS will reach out to students individually and as a group as necessary. DIS maintains local addresses and phone numbers for all students, as well as an all-student email and SMS text service. In case DIS needs to reach a student while on a study tour, staff remaining in DIS locations have a full overview of students in attendance, hotel addresses, scheduled events, and tour leaders’ cell phone numbers.
6. Communication: DIS to Sending Institutions
DIS will be in regular contact with sending institutions regarding any emergency, behavior, housing, academic health, or other situation involving one or more of its students. In most but not all cases, DIS will defer to the sending institution to contact parents or other stakeholders.
7. Facilities Safety
Access to the DIS buildings are restricted and require an access card, which is given to students at the beginning of their stay. There are surveillance cameras installed at every entrance of the DIS administrative and teaching facilities. Staff members have building specific evacuation plans to ensure swift evacuation of all students from the various DIS administrative and teaching facilities should the event arise. Staff and student evacuation exercises are carried out at regular intervals. Evacuation routes are posted in the main student areas, and all emergency exits are clearly marked throughout the buildings.