Template Field Operations Guide

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  1. Voice Communications Procedures

Any NAME OF AGENCY operation will utilize handheld 800 MHz radios, cell phones, and other types of communication devices. Insert AGENCY’s technical communications plan.

  1. Important Numbers List

See the NAME OF DOCUMENT for department and county contact lists and mutual aid request information.


See NAME OF AGENCY’s EOP – Risk Communications Annex.

No media of any kind will be allowed access to the either the Survivor Center or Friends and Relatives Center. The incident or site Public Information Officer will handle all media inquiries and incidents.

  1. If a PIO is not on site, the Branch Director will be the designated spokesperson and may call the PIO for assistance and direction.

  2. If you are not the designated spokesperson, you should:

  1. resist the urge to become a self-appointed spokesperson.

  2. remain professional and focused on your assigned responsibilities.

  3. be friendly and briefly conversational but decline an interview by saying:

“I understand you’re interest in getting accurate and up-to-date information about what we’re doing here. That’s not my role. Let me direct you to our spokesperson or Public Information Officer.”

See the Media Frequently Asked Questions About Family Assistance Centers document in the Attachments section.


Protecting the life and safety of community members and responders is the first objective in an emergency response. Emergencies by definition have risk to the health of community members and may by virtue of the type of emergency pose a risk to the health of the emergency responders. A Hazard Assessment of the situation is critical to determine the risks to life, safety and health. Mitigation strategies to decrease the risk to both community members and emergency responders should be based on this assessment.

See Safety Walkthrough Checklist in FORMS section of FOG. This section contains tools to assist with the Hazard Assessment of the reunification site, the determination of who is at risk for the hazard, and mitigation strategies to decrease risk to the responders and community members.

Insert AGENCY Incident Reporting System.

  1. First Aid and Behavioral Health

  1. Injury and Illness

  1. Staff who are injured or become ill should tell their direct supervisor and, if needed, should be taken to the first aid room.

  2. Clients who become seriously injured or very ill should be taken to the first aid room.

  3. First aid staff should assess and assist the unwell person.

  4. If the unwell person needs additional medical attention, they should be directed to the nearest medical facility.

  5. All incidents should be documented by first aid staff and reported to the Branch Director.

  6. First aid staff should have staff complete (or their supervisor if the staff is too unwell) any necessary forms.

  7. If necessary, provide EMS transport.

  1. Behavioral Health

    1. Behavioral health counselors will be available at the FAC to provide mental health assistance to visitors and staff.

    2. Behavioral health counselors should provide only minimal counseling at the reunification site.

    3. Quiet space should be available for persons needing behavioral intervention.

assistance center Attachments

25. Command Briefing Agenda

26. Cultural and Religious Considerations

27. Culture and Religion Overviews

51. Example Family Briefing Agenda

52. Family Assistance Center Organizational Structure

53. Interpreter and Translator Services

54. Media Frequently Asked Question about Family Assistance Centers

56. Operational Briefing Checklist

57. Psychological First Aid

59. Resources/Contact Information

60. Responder Self-Care

62. Reunification Operations Organizational Structure

63. Social Services that may be required

64. Staff Check In/Check Out Procedures

66. Support Agency Contact Information

Command Briefing Agenda

  • Welcome Staff/Introduce Self

  • State Objectives:

    1. Provide a safe, welcoming environment for FAC operations.

    2. Assure the safety of staff, survivors, and loved ones throughout the operation by maintaining situational awareness, following the Safety and Medical Plans and following site security protocols.

    3. Follow Communication Plan to assure consistent messages to the public and media.

    4. Maintain Incident Command.

    5. Maintain documentation of all response activities.

    6. Complete debriefing and demobilization procedures.

  • Incidental logistics issues (restrooms, staff room location, food arrival, etc.)

  • Review Communication Plan

  • Review Media Plan

  • Review Safety/Medical Plan

  • Review client confidentiality

    1. Do not take pictures of people visiting or utilizing the center

    2. Do not share information with the media unless you’re the Branch Director/Site Manager or Public Information Officer

    3. Refer any concerns regarding someone’s physical or psychological health to your supervisor or the Safety Officer

  • Release staff to JITT

Cultural and Religious Considerations

Each community is unique with many cultures and faiths. Accommodating cultural and religious practices is a critical part of an Assistance Center planning and operations. It is critical to understand the needs of different cultures and faiths by taking into consideration different aspects of their practices, to better serve the community at the family assistance center.

  • Language

  • Diet (including fasting)

  • Dress

  • Physical contact

  • Medical treatment

  • Daily acts of faith, major events

  • Dying and death customs

  • Resources (e.g. texts, facilities, etc.)

  • Names

Assumptions should not be made about the particular practices of individual families based on religion or ethnicity.

Below is a list of instances in which cultural or religious practices should be considered and incorporated to better serve the community affected by the disaster.

  • Memorial ceremonies, services and anniversaries

  • Food preparation and consumption

  • Communications with families (e.g. family interviews, family briefings, notifications)

  • Resources (e.g. texts, cultural/religious leaders)

  • Space for cultural or religious practices

  • Behavioral Health and Spiritual Care

Numerous languages are spoken within the City of Minneapolis. Family resources, signs and translators should be available in several languages for all families at the Assistance Center. Below are some of foreign languages spoken by the major immigrant groups in Hennepin County.

  • Amharic

  • Arabic

  • Cambodian/Khmer

  • Hmong

  • Karen

  • Laotian

  • Oromo

  • Russian

  • Somali

  • Spanish

  • Vietnamese

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