Manmade Disasters

Think Ahead

Whether traveling or living outside of the United States, there are ways you can prepare yourself for a manmade disaster, be it a terrorist attack, a transportation disaster, or other incident:

  • Learn about what manmade disasters may happen in your destination. You can learn about your destination on our Country Pages. Pay special attention to the Safety and Security section.
  • Plan what to do in a crisis overseas. For more information see our page Crisis Abroad: Be Ready.
  • Prepare for specific potential manmade disasters based on your destination. Please note that these websites belong to domestic agencies and are intended for reference only.  If you are overseas, remember to follow the instructions of local authorities.

o   Terrorist Attacks: See the FBI’s page on Terrorism or  DHS’s page on Explosions

o   Transportation Disasters:

*  For information about safety on the road visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s page on Road Safety

*  For information about what to do in an airplane or maritime disaster, see the information available from your airline or cruise line operator.

o   Nuclear, Chemical, and Radiological Disasters: See the DHS’s pages on Nuclear Explosion and Chemical Emergencies; the CDC’s page on Radiation Emergencies; and the NRC’s page on Radiological Emergencies.   

If Disaster Strikes

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Contact your loved ones:  Even if you are not affected by the crisis directly, your loved ones at home want to know that you are ok!  Also consider updating your social media status.
  • If you need help:  Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  Contact local authorities if you need emergency medical attention.


Have a plan for pets in the event of a manmade disaster.  Please see our page on Taking a Pet Overseas for information on your options in the event of a crisis overseas. In the event of a crisis involving a U.S. government coordinated evacuation, we are generally not able to provide transportation assistance for your pets. If you decide to travel or live outside of the United States with your pet, FEMA’s Pets and Animals page has tips to help you plan for the care of pets and animals in a disaster.  

If You Want to Help Following a Disaster Overseas

We strongly discourage you from traveling to the affected area to provide direct assistance; those who are not trained emergency response officials often end up requiring assistance themselves.  Instead, please consider organizations actively providing aid. USAID’s Center for International Disaster Information has information on identifying organizations and ways to provide help. 


Listings of private entities on this page are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department State or the U.S. government of the entity, its views or the products or services it provides. The order in which names appear has no significance, and the links may be removed at any time at the discretion of the U.S. Department of State.

Last Updated: September 25, 2018