It’s bad enough to have an emergency when you’re at home. Remember how much you dread calling your parents to help with a flat tire or because you were in an accident? But, imagine how awful it would be in a foreign country with no idea of how to get help. Planning for the unexpected is as important as booking the flight. This section provides information on steps to take before your trip and what to do in case of emergency. "Be Prepared" isn’t just a Boy Scout motto.
U.S. consular officers are located at over 260 Foreign Service posts abroad. There are also consular officers in 46 foreign cities without U.S. embassies or consulates. They’re ready to provide assistance if you need it.
Earthquakes, hurricanes, political upheavals, and acts of terrorism are only some of the events threatening the safety of Americans abroad. Each event is unique and poses its own special difficulties. When a crisis occurs, the State Department sets up a task force with all the necessary personnel to work on the situation. Usually this Washington task force is in touch 24-hours a day with our Ambassador and Foreign Service Officers at the embassy in the country affected.
The State Department works hard to provide information in times of crisis and to protect the lives of Americans abroad. You can make it easier for the State Department to locate you by registering your trip.
Be informed and stay safe.
Before you Travel
Millions of Americans travel abroad every year and encounter no difficulties. However, U.S. embassies and consulates assist nearly 200,000 Americans each year who are victims of crime, accident or illness, or whose family and friends need to contact them in an emergency. When an emergency happens, or if a natural disaster, terrorism, or civil unrest strikes during your foreign travel, the nearest U.S, embassy or consulate can be your source of assistance and information.
By enrolling your trip, you help the embassy or consulate locate you when you might need them the most. No, this isn’t Big Brother tracking you. Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) makes it possible to contact you if necessary, whether there’s a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in the country you are visiting. Enrollment is quick, easy and free, so enroll today!