Crisis and disaster management

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When an event occurs at KI that impacts on our basic functions and values, or when one or more students or members of staff are affected in a way that is beyond the ability of our ordinary organisation, resources or methods to prevent or mitigate, we are in a state of crisis. In order to deal with the situation, we have a crisis management plan and an organisational system that can respond quickly to establish an effective crisis organisation.

The ability to handle crises depends very much on being prepared to cope with the unexpected. Each event is unique, and so is the way of dealing with it. It is therefore important for the workplace to have a preparedness not only for administering first aid in the event of accident or illness, but also for providing the mental and social support that students and staff need in the wake of crises, accidents or other serious incidents. This kind of care can help reduce personal suffering and prevent sick leave.

A crisis could be an accident or disaster at KI or other place where KI students and staff might find themselves; a fire; a gas leak; a chemical spill; a threatening mail or phone call; burglary; theft; or the death of a colleague. Such events are usually sudden, although occasionally a crisis can be caused by something that has evolved over a period of time.
In the event of such accidents, crises and disasters, we must all act resolutely to handle the situation and limit the damage it could cause. We must also be able to take care of victims and their families and colleagues. 

Another type of crisis is an event or circumstance that undermines confidence in KI. Responsibility for handling such crises of confidence lies with the KI management and/or the department concerned (or the equivalent), with the support of the Information and Public Relations Office.

There might also be a need to liaise with the Estates Department and with the property owner regarding the repair of buildings and equipment and insurance.

Less serious events/accidents where the damage or injury only affects the running of a particular department are handled by the department’s own crisis group; should the supervisor feel that additional support is needed, the student health service and human resources department may also provide crisis management.

In case of crises and other serious incidents, KI must have preparations in place to:

  • quickly establish a cohesive leadership body with a clearly delegated roles;
  • ensure that information given to the media and the general public is correct, confidence-building and effective; and
  • cooperate with other actors at a local and central level.

The planning objective is to:

  • help ensure that the people in positions of responsibility take control of developments;
  • minimise injury, damage and other negative consequences;
  • coordinate resources at KI; and
  • maintain confidence in KI.

Karolinska Institutet must handle crises in a manner that:

  • is caring and considerate;
  • demonstrates an ability to respond quickly and clearly; and
  • preserves confidence in KI.

The crisis management group

The crisis management group comprises:

  • The president
  • The university director
  • The deputy university director
  • The director of communication 
  • The Chief Security Officer

When necessary the group can be supplemented with representatives of other central administration units/departments and of the division/department affected.

Crisis support

As an employee or student of KI you are entitled to support in the event of a crisis. Employees are to contact their immediate supervisor/manager or the human resources department; students are to contact their course coordinator/director or the student health service.
In the event of a major crisis, such as a serious accident or threat, a natural disaster, fire, etc. KI’s crisis organisation will take over.

Crisis management plan

The crisis management plan is revised when necessary. This revision is the responsibility of the Chief Security Officer.

Karolinska Institutet's management plans during major crises such as injury or death is focused on supportive measures in the time soon after the incident.
Emergency efforts is coordinated by the SOS, emergency number 112.