Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We Devour Information to Insure Your Child’s Safety (and now share it on Twitter)

At People to People Ambassador Programs, the safety and health of all delegates and leader is our top priority. Knowing - and understanding - the current state of affairs in all parts of the world we travel is critical in our achieving that goal. In order to stay up to speed in this area, we use multiple resources to ensure we have the latest and most accurate intelligence.
  • Local Knowledge: People to People Ambassador Programs has more than 22 world wide partners who live and work in the locations we visit. These organizations are well connected within the local authorities and are in a unique position to pass along current and relevant information.

  • Past Experiences. We have been operating programs around the world for more the 50 years and we have many proven safety and health procedures that provide for the greatest opportunity for an event-free experience for our students.

  • Government and Private Sources: We rely heavily on docleaf, a London-based crisis response provider, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Embassies all over the world. We also work closely with the United States State Department and their available resources.
One of our primary resources is the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). OSAC has many highly skilled regional coordinators on staff who collect and analyze the most current intelligence from all corners of the world, and share safety and security information with all businesses working outside of the United States. OSAC has more than 100 Country Councils, and more than 3,500 constituent member organizations, like People to People.

Tomorrow, November 17th, 2011, OSAC will hold its 25th annual briefing (in which I will be in attendance). The title of the conference is appropriately named “Celebrating the Past - Protecting the Future." This briefing will be filled with updates on topic related to keeping people safe while traveling. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to kick off the conference and will be joined by such notable speakers as Under Secretary for Political Affairs, William Burns, and Tom Brokaw (former anchor and managing editor for NBC Nightly News).

Immediately following the OSAC conference, we'll get an update from the Domestic Security Alliance Counsel (DSAC) a group formed by the FBI to share critical news and information related to domestic conditions. With our expanding Leadership Programs held in Washington, DC and at many well known Universities, this information will be invaluable.

Tune in on Twitter
Recently, I opened a Twitter account (@MikeP2Psafety) so I plan to tweet updates from the conference. I won’t be sharing important security information, but I'll share what I can. Feel free to follow my tweets at www.twitter.com/MikeP2Psafety.

People to People Ambassador Program’s involvement in OSAC and other organizations is just one more way we strive for safety and health excellence. Our goal is to remain the safety and health leader in the student educational travel field and continue to share what we learn with other student travel organizations.

With that, I wish you all safe travels and a healthy life.

Mike Bowers,
Senior Director of Health and Safety

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