Columbia University

Global Travel

Administrator in NY: Steps to Follow in an Emergency

Print a version of this protocol and worksheet for your records: Global Travel - Emergency Call Protocol

A call is received by a person on campus (Responder) from a Columbia traveler who is in a foreign country requiring assistance:

1. Responder should ask Caller to provide the following information:

  • Telephone number and/or best way(s) of communication (text, Skype name, WhatsApp name or other) through which Caller can best be reached;
  • Is the Caller the person in trouble or is s/he calling on behalf of a second Columbia traveler?
  • Caller’s name and relationship to Columbia or relationship to a Columbia traveler;
  • If the Columbia traveler is a student, ask if they have the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan and get their Member ID Number;
  • Columbia traveler’s name, location, age, gender, and nationality;
  • Did the Columbia traveler register this trip through ISOS MyTrips and include complete lodging and contact information? (If “Yes,” skip to “g”)
  • School or department with which the Columbia traveler is associated;
  • Name, location, and telephone number of hotel, office, doctor, hospital, or clinic;
  • Other pertinent information relating to Columbia traveler’s situation;
  • Did they already call the 911 equivalent, ISOS or OnCall for assistance? (If “Yes,” note which one and contact others)

2. In a life-threatening or other serious emergency (with the Responder on the line if feasible), the Caller should be instructed to call the 911 equivalent for their Host Country;

3. For a Student in a Medical Emergency: if member of Aetna Student Health Insurance plan, should reach out to OnCall: +1-603-328-1926 and open a ticket. This step is crucial for students later seeking reimbursement for international services from that insurer.

4. For all other Columbia traveler types and for any assistance need, call the ISOS’s Scholastic Members' line: +1-215-942-8478.
In addition to the information listed in step 1, the caller must provide the Columbia University Scholastic Membership number: 11BSGC000064

5. Responder should work with ISOS for immediate emergency actions and will act as a liaison for the University.

After receiving all pertinent facts from the local ISOS team, the first responders will disseminate to all appropriate University personnel. If a student traveler requires medical attention, the first responders will bring Columbia Health into all discussions.The Dean, Department Head, or ISOS Program Coordinator will contact the traveler's family and take over case management after the immediate emergency has been addressed.

NOTES: ISOS has been instructed to contact Columbia's Authorized Persons as needed for steps that incur additional costs. As needed, ISOS will contact Columbia University Public Safety, who are available 24/7 at +1-212-854-5555 in any case in which ISOS has not made positive contact with an Authorized Person. Only certain Authorized Persons have been designated for Guarantees of Payment for ISOS; however, Public Safety will initiate their internal protocol to alert the authorized person.

If you have any questions, please email us at globaltravel@columbia.edu.