Managing Emergencies

Travel Emergency

Most people returning from abroad tell us about the many aspects of their time abroad and report that it was a valuable experience. While most experience a safe and healthy time abroad, some are forced to deal with minor crises like losing their passport, being victim to minor robbery or pick-pockets, or a minor illness or injury. In an unfamiliar environment with communication, cultural barriers and, in some cases, language barriers, a minor crisis may be more difficult to handle. Small emergencies abroad can seem like larger ones due to language and communication barriers, and a lack of familiarity with foreign surroundings or an understanding of the customs and laws of your host country. You may also have a major emergency while abroad, such as a serious illness or injury, traffic accident, natural disaster, or violent crime. Being able to deal with a crisis situation includes understanding your emotions, keeping yourself safe, and coping mechanisms.

Remain calm. Take a deep breath. You will need a clear head to focus on your next move.
Assess the situation. Get advice from others at the location. Identify the type of emergency situation: Personal or regional.
Take action. Exercise good judgment. Follow advice. Consider forms of transportation. If you are alone, try to safety remove yourself from the “danger zone” to a safer environment. In some cases, the US Consulate or Embassy may be the best option.
Get in touch. Once you are in a safe and stable location, update others about your situation. Using a method of communication at your ready, get in touch with family/friends and/or MU-GAP.  We can help you assist in finding medical care, transport, legal assistance, etc.
Take care of yourself and those traveling with you.
Keep trying. If you cannot reach anyone to help, don’t give up. Try alternative methods of communication.
Move to a more permanent location, if necessary.
Stay in touch.
Evaluate and revise your personal emergency action plan as necessary.
Keep necessary documentation.