02.01.11: Crisis intervention guidelines

Definition of crisis
A crisis is a traumatic or stressful event that is so extreme or severe and harmful and/or threatening to the person(s) involved that the person(s) require(s) extraordinary efforts to cope. A crisis may be a brief unusual event or a series of continuous events that subject person(s) to an intensive overwhelming threat to the well-being of them or others. A crisis could also include external events that force a dramatic response from EMM personnel.

We define crises as more than physical danger. Crisis situations include natural disasters, human induced acts of hostility, situations of ethical shock, bizarre behavior, as well as tragedy. See Appendix: Definitions of Crises

Core values of EMM in crisis situations
  1. We send out personnel who make commitments that involve risk for the sake of the kingdom. We affirm those commitments, and we support our personnel in carrying them out. 

  2. We provide well-­being care for all EMM personnel on a proactive continuous basis, with additional resources provided as needed during crisis situations.

  3. We seek to enhance security of personnel through risk assessments, contingency planning, and crisis management training, and we will strive to provide accurate information for applicants.

  4. We seek to keep Jesus and long-­term kingdom values in focus. In crisis situations, decisions are made by EMM personnel in consultation with individuals they are accountable to, who may include the local church, pastors, or other persons whom we are serving and have relationships with, or who have expertise in the region. Different teams or team members may make different choices in situations of crisis.

  5. We value a collaborative EMM response, but we also maintain a commitment to respond and make decisions in a timely fashion during a crisis. 

  6. We include primary and secondary victims, as well as perpetrators, in assessment of physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in times of crisis. See Appendix: Definitions of Crises for further definitions of these needs. We assess what information is appropriate to communicate and how, and who handles communication.
Crisis prevention policy
We intend to be proactive in dealing with security issues to benefit the spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health of personnel, including the following:
  1. Risk assessment 
    EMM maintains a structured plan for evaluating the dangers that exist in particular countries and regions as well as a structured system for informing personnel about those dangers.

  2. Contingency planning
    EMM sets guidelines covering the major components of security and crisis management and is committed to the development and maintenance of security contingency plans. See Crisis contingency plan template and Harassment and inappropriate behavior policy

  3. Training 
    Based on the evaluation of risks and dangers, EMM personnel will receive appropriate training. EMM supervisors will receive additional training in crisis assessment and planning and in critical incident debriefing.
Implementation of preventive actions
  • Personnel are to be provided with accurate information, to the best of our knowledge, regarding the country of residence, as well as political, cultural, and current events.
  • Personnel sign a covenant of understanding accepting the risks involved in the assignment, such as kidnapping, extortion, unlawful arrest, accusation, imprisonment, personal injury, or death. They also state that they understand that all ethical and peaceful means will be utilized to secure the release of any detained person, but without the payment of ransom demands or engagement in political bargaining. This covenant of understanding releases EMM from all claims against EMM in connection with such events.
  • Personnel over the age of 18 who will travel internationally for EMM are required to have a notarized power­ of­ attorney statement, a living will, and a statement of desire for the treatment of the body in the event of death, with copies kept in their file at the central administrative office.
  • Personnel are provided with general information regarding stress management and critical incident intervention in the orientation program.
  • Information on the current realities of a country is shared with the MST for their prayer support.
On assignment
  • Each country uses a crisis contingency plan template to develop and maintain security through a contingency plan.
  • All EMM personnel receive specific briefing on known security issues during orientation. Personnel are informed of the requirement that all critical incidents are to be reported to their appropriate supervisor.
  • The Human Resources director provides additional resources on stress management and self­-care in crises or potential crises as he becomes aware of situations.
  • EMM supervisors must remain abreast of political developments but should avoid involvement or commitment on local political issues in host countries where they live and work as guests.
  • Reports are received by the personnel placement coach and MST coach from team well­-being advocates. Concerns are dealt with in consultation with supervisors.
  • Regular reports of any potential crisis should be sent to supervisors and forwarded to program directors and the personnel placement and MST coaches at the central administrative office.
Effective: 05/03. Revised: 06/2016.