Missing Persons Plan

July 19, 2011

Kyle Hansen
Coordinator for Outdoor Adventures
Campus Recreation
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

An effective ‘Missing Person’ plan is essential in the Campus Recreation setting. Summer Camps, Outdoor Programs and Aquatics are three examples of Campus Recreation programs where missing persons are a constant reality — and unless you have a real plan to deal with this situation, the consequences can be disasterous.

The following plan was adapted from a plan developed for an Adventure Trip at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It can be adapted for any situation, in any location.

Missing Person

  1. If a person is missing for more than 5 minutes, his/ her group facilitator must report the situation to the leader of day (LOD) who is in charge of the whole facility for the day.
    Code Blue = Missing Person
  2. When the LOD makes the call Code Blue, all groups must gather by the equipment shed and count all of their participants and verify that they have everyone.
  3. The LOD will delegate teams to do the following, if a participant is still missing.

Team A: Remain at the main building to supervise participants and be available for emergency purposes.
Team B: Begin searching for missing person where they were last seen, and begin searching the surrounding area.
Team C: Remainder of the staff will divide to cover the remaining areas of the course. Once each group has covered their area in one direction, they will turn around and look again in the other direction while one facilitator calls Campus Recreation to update the program director/ coordinator of the situation.

If the individual is not found within 30 minutes of the beginning of the organized search, the LOD/ professional staff will notify public authorities to aid in the search. Cooperate with authorities, do not make any comments to the media, or say “No Comment”. Use participants as group age/ maturity permits. Minimum 4 per team, and add teams as appropriate.

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