Travel Coordination

Travel coordination is one of the most critical tasks in the early stages of a large emergency response.  The larger and more high-profile an emergency, the more people will suddenly be trying to move into, out of, and around the emergency area.  This causes a lot of stress for both the travelers and those who are hosting them.

To address this:  Ask the CP to establish one person in the main office to handle all travel.  This person should be a fast thinker, good with details, and customer service oriented.

It is best that this person is in the main office because that is a central location (between the region and HQ and the field).  The main office is also likely to have the most staff, and the most experienced staff, and is thus the most likely to be able to spare someone who has the appropriate skills.

If you have field offices, those offices should also consider assigning one person the task of working with the Travel Coordinator in the Main Office.  That person would do the same tasks as the Travel Coordinator in the main office, but at the field level.

We’ve attached a sample Job Description for a Travel Coordinator.  Click here – Travel Coordinator Job Description – to download a copy.  The duties described in that document could be combined with other administrative duties if travel coordination will not be a full time job.

Below we describe the basic duties of a Coordinator, and attach some documents that list the basic information the person should collect and make available to all staff.

    1. Collect and organize all the information on Routes and Travelers into an easy to read format
    2. Make it available to both the field and the main office teams (Perhaps via SharePoint, if the field team will be able to access it easily there.)


Information on Routes

The Travel Coordinator should find all the ways to get to and from the field.  S/he should find out:

    1. How long each route takes
    2. How much each costs
    3. How to organize each type of travel

S/he should keep this information up to date, and make sure all staff on both Field and Office-based Teams know that this information exists, and where to find it.

We’ve attached tips for the Travel Coordinator on collecting:

Air Travel Information, and Questions for Air Travel Providers

Road Travel Information

Hotel & Guest House Options


Information on Travelers

The Travel Coordinator should keep (and post) an up to date list of the following information: 

    1. Who is in the field now,
    2. Who is going to the field, when, and how they are getting there
    3. Who is coming back when, and how they are getting back
    4. When visitors from outside the country are arriving and departing the country
    5. The document status of everyone currently in or travelling to or from the field (visas, other necessary permissions, and when they expire)

This information should also be well-organized, in one place, and available to both Field and Main Office Teams.