Step 4: Follow-Up

Once you and the NOK determine a time for follow-up, ensure that the follow-up is made. This is the fourth step of the trauma notification process. Follow-up contact provides an opportunity for the next of kin to ask additional questions.

This is often a time when the NOK asks about their loved one’s personal effects. If the personal effects are not needed as evidence, they should be returned to the NOK (cleaned, if culturally appropriate, and respectfully presented) as soon as possible. If the personal effects have hazardous materials on them, there are several companies that can assist with cleaning them. Personal effects should never be thrown away just because they have biohazard on them.

The NOK may also ask about media guidance if they have been contacted by media outlets. The follow-up is also a time for the NOK to ask about additional resources. 

Follow up with the next of kin within 24 hours to discuss the following:

  • Personal effects.
  • Media intervention.

  • Resources.
  • Additional questions.