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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 the Vice President for Operations 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 Crisis24. Students who are permitted to waive the Northwestern GeoBlue coverage because their study abroad 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 Crisis24 can determine whether or not an evacuation will be "covered" under the policy. A covered evacuation will be offered for a stated time frame. Students who refuse to avail themselves of evacuation services through GeoBlue / Crisis24 during the stated time frame cannot request evacuation services at a later date.

In February 2022, Crisis24, NU's security assistance provider, suspended evacuation coverage to Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Travel by undergraduates is prohibited without exception. Travel to these countries by faculty, staff and graduate students should be postponed until further notice. If short-term, mission-critical research-related travel must occur to these locations, contact OGSS to discuss the ramifications of traveling without evacuation coverage.

Disclosures for High Risk Destinations

Crisis24, Northwestern’s political, security and natural disaster evacuation (PEND) provider requires disclosure of planned travel to 23 countries it considers high-risk to determine whether or not PEND services will be covered in the case of a serious, non-medical emergency. In 2023, the following countries need pre-approval from Crisis24: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia (Tigray region only), Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria (Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, and northern Adamawa states only), North Korea, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Republic of South Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen

If traveling to one of these destinations, faculty and staff must complete this travel disclosure form  and email it to at least 5 business days before departure. Students are required to register their travel in the International Travel Registry at least 14 days before departure. Student disclosures of planned travel to high-risk countries (as determined by Crisis24) are managed through the International Travel Registry.