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Evacuation (Political or Natural Disaster)

Authority and procedure

In circumstances where travelers are perceived to be in imminent danger resulting from a severe political or environmental circumstances, and the window of opportunity for action is short, the Director of the Office of Global Safety and Security or Vice President for Risk Management and the institution’s evacuation assistance provider, in conjunction with the school or unit sponsoring travel, when possible, have the authority to immediately suspend travel and initiate evacuation proceedings.

Students who refuse to comply with evacuation orders will lose their student status (impacting their financial aid), evacuation insurance coverage, and health insurance coverage (if provided by Northwestern).


 Northwestern requires all students (graduate and undergraduate) to enroll in a specialized medical insurance and assistance plan with GeoBlue, which includes security/natural disaster/political unrest evacuation coverage through Drum Cussac. Some exceptions apply for study abroad participants receiving coverage under other entities. Students that are permitted to waive the Northwestern GeoBlue coverage because their program provider also works with GeoBlue are subject to the evacuation conditions of that policy (which may include working with an evacuation provider other than Drum Cussac). Students who are permitted to waive the Northwestern GeoBlue  coverage because their program provider offers comparable coverage are subject to the evacuation conditions of that policy.

Northwestern faculty and staff traveling on university business will be automatically covered by Northwestern's business travel insurance program provided by GeoBlue.

Only GeoBlue can determine whether or not an evacuation will be "covered" under the policy. A covered evacuation will be coordinated by GeoBlue for a stated time frame. Students who refuse to avail themselves of evacuation services through GeoBlue during the stated time frame cannot request evacuation services at a later date.