Chapter 5 Dealing with health, safety and security challenges

When working in a crisis situation, it is necessary to adapt to an environment that can be different from what you might have been used to at home. Telephone networks may work inefficiently (that is if and when they work), transportation infrastructure may be rudimentary and the working culture, team structure and security situation may be different as well. For these reasons, it is vital to develop and maintain a flexible attitude coupled with basic survival skills in order to stay healthy, safe and sane while on mission.

An individual’s attitude and degree of preparedness can greatly influence team safety as well as the effectiveness, image and reputation of an entire mission in a host community. Hence, every civilian expert on mission should take personal responsibility for learning certain basic skills in order to cope successfully with the challenging reality of everyday life in the field.

This chapter will equip you with some fundamental knowledge required for staying healthy and safe while dealing with stress.