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Risk Assessment Notes 2

Risk Assessment Notes 2
Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis (AP)

Use these notes to help you continue your risk assessment.

Passports, Visas, Press Accreditation and a Good Cover Story

Include here all your passport information, details of how you obtained your visa (letters, responses), details of how to obtain press accreditation, and, if you are travelling undercover or as a tourist, details of your cover story.

Travelling as a tourist is discouraged unless there is compelling reason to do so. Check with broadcasters if they are happy to receive material gathered under these circumstances, as there are strict industry guidelines for working undercover and filming secretly. If you intend to film without press credentials you must reflect this in the project specific risks section (see Risk Assessment Notes 1).

Travel Risks

What are the risks involved in your travel arrangements?

Think about how you are getting to your destination and any travelling inside the country. Plan your itinerary carefully and research the safest means of travel. Car accidents are often a high risk in developing countries, so make sure your car is working properly and is well equipped. Check your route carefully and find a driver that is cautious, experienced and has the language skills you need. Consider as well if there are any relevant events not related with your assignment that could affect your travel (for instance a strike, public holiday or celebration).

Always have an exit plan, as on the ground situations may change, or you may not feel comfortable with your initial plan.

Health and Medical

Include all potential threats, such as access to safe drinking water and extreme weather conditions. This will help you assess what you need to include in your first aid and trauma kit.

Do you need any vaccinations?

List all required vaccinations, immunisations and boosters and make sure you are up-to-date.

Do you have any medical conditions that you and others need to take into account and/or pose a risk?

Do not travel to a hostile environment if you are not in good health. Take into account that some assignments may be physically demanding.  Have regular medical and dental check-ups. If you need to take any special medication, check whether it will be locally available or if you can take this with you (some countries have severe restrictions on the import of medial items). If necessary, bring a letter from your doctor and the medication leaflet with details of the active components.

Will you have access to a hospital with international standards? How far and how difficult will it be for you to reach this hospital?

Research and then list local hospitals you could attend in case of an emergency. This is especially relevant in remote areas. Include full contact information and driving directions.

Medical Evacuation

How will you be evacuated in an emergency? From where to where, by who and at what cost? Does your insurance provide cover for this?


What coverage does your insurance provide?

Read carefully your policy and be aware of the limits of your coverage. Include a copy of the policy in your Emergency File. A risk assessment should help you to have a good understanding of what kind of insurance you need. You can get more information on providers in our insurance resource.

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