Incident Response Plan for Organizers

The following template can be used by WordPress community event organizing teams to prepare for responding to on-site incident reports.

Incident Response Plan Template Incident Response Plan Template

Situations you might respond to:

  • Verbal altercation
  • Medical emergency
  • Physical altercation
  • Threats to physical safety
  • Intimidation and harassment
  • Acts of nature

First Response Group (prepared to take reports and handle issues on site, these people are your safety team)

  • Name
  • Name

Backup Response Group (organizers with on-site commitments, but who can be available as needed)

  • Name
  • Name

Contact List

  • Telephone numbers or other

Information to provide to volunteers so they can report issues:

  • Clear direction on how & where to contact organizers

Information to provide to venue:

  • Ways to reach organizers/safety team

Information to provide to public:

  • Instructions on how to find volunteers to go on website: 
    • If you are experiencing an emergency, please prioritize your safety! If you are uncomfortable and/or need assistance in any way, please find a volunteer and ask them for help. We are the helpful people in (IDENTIFYING MARKS/CLOTHES) that say “Volunteer” or “Organizer” on the back. 
  • Evacuation routes (post on day of website)

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Process for responding to a medical emergency or violence Process for responding to a medical emergency or violence

If there is an incident where there is a clear and present danger, take the following steps: 

  1. Ensure your personal safety.
  2. Call the venue’s emergency line or the local emergency services (ambulance, police) for help.
  3. Ensure all parties are safe and have access to medical services if needed.
  4. If possible, collect the name(s) and contact info for anyone receiving emergency medical services at the event.
  5. Follow up by sharing with the WordPress Global Community Team’s incident response squad by emailing report@wordcamp.org or filling out the incident report.

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Process for responding to incident reports Process for responding to incident reports

If you need to take a report about an incident that may violate the code of conduct, remember to maintain confidentiality at all times.

  1. Inform people on the organizing team that someone has reported a problem, while protecting the reporter’s confidentiality. 
  2. To take a report, find a quiet place and if possible, ask another organizer to join you. If you have any potential conflict of interest in taking the report (such as if any person involved in the report works at the same company as you), ask another member of the safety team to do so for you. 
  3. Ask if the person would like to make a formal code of conduct report. Do not make any promises as to how reports will be handled, but let them know that the safety team will make every effort to protect the reporter’s confidentiality and safety.
  4. If they do not want to make a formal report, you can ask if they would like to make the report anonymous. If they still do not want to make a formal report, the best you can do is to help them feel safe and heard while at the event.
  5. If they are making the report, ask them to describe the incident. Items that would be helpful include:
    • Identifying information for any alleged harasser(s)/witnesses/people involved
    • Reporter’s name and contact information so that we can follow up
    • Time and date of incident + time and date of the report
    • Place of incident
    • Summary of incident
    • Names of other people involved
  6. Depending on the severity of the report, you may need to notify emergency services. Make sure to note this in the report.
  7. After you have gathered information, thank the reporter. 
    • If appropriate, you can ask if there is anything else you can do to help make them feel safe (for example, finding a friend of theirs to stay with them, or giving them a private space to sit in). 
    • Let them know that you will be sharing the report with the incident response team, and that we will follow up after reviewing. 
    • If they are making the report anonymously, you can reassure them that we will do everything we can to make sure their name is anonymous. 
  8. Follow up by sharing with the WordPress Global Community Team’s incident response squad by emailing report@wordcamp.org or filling out the incident report, especially if confidentiality is required.