Category Archives: Emergencies

Update to Evacuation of US Citizens from Southern Sudan

Send in the troops


Earlier today I wrote about the evacuation of US citizens from Juba, South Sudan. The US Embassy arranged for two charter flights for US citizens to depart Juba on July 14.

There are now reports that the US has deployed 47 troops to protect the US Embassy and assist in the evacuation of US citizens.    The troops are most likely from the US Marine Corps’ crisis-response force in Spain

There are no commercial flights in and out of Juba but charter flights continue to evacuate aid workers and other foreign citizens.

Will the US chartered flight will be able to land tomorrow or will they need US military aircraft to evacuate the US citizens?

Let me mention that the US embassy is evacuating all ‘non-essential” personnel. This means that the ‘essential’ personnel will remain at the embassy.  That is why the troops have the mission to protect the embassy.*


Stay safe and travel far


* I was one of the ‘essential’ personal who remained in Suva, Fiji in 2000 during a coup when the US Embassy evacuated ‘non-essential’ personal, including my family.


Evacuation of US Citizens

Last one on board pull up the ladder


I’ve spoken before about when the situation is so bad the US Embassy assists US citizens to evacuate a country. Southern Sudan has become the most recent example.

Emergency message

Today, the US Embassy in Juba, Southern Sudan issued an emergency message to all US citizens about evacuation flights from Juba.

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Let Your Family and Friends Know You Are Safe

Let them know as soon as possible 


On Friday, November 13, 2015 one hundred twenty nine people were killed by terrorist in Paris. On November 20, 2015 twenty seven people were killed by terrorist in Bamako, Mali. I can only add my condolences and prayers for the families and friends of those who died and offer my hopes of recovery for those who were wounded.

I honor the spirit of the people of Paris who thumbed their nose at the Islamic state by returning to cafes and restaurants and sharing photos on social media.  It was their way to honor the victims of the attacks and to show they refused to give in to fear.

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Better 911 Access for Travelers in Other Countries

A big improvement in how you contact 911 emergency services is coming soon


A startup called RapidSOS is creating an app called One-Touch-911 for use in the US and other countries. The app will make it easier to communicate with emergency services, improve the ability of emergency services to locate you when you are calling from a mobile phone and provide more information to them.

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What to do if you’re arrested in another country

Better to prepare and not need it than to need it and not be prepared


Before You Go    

Most likely you will have a great trip that is a lot of fun and results in many happy memories and exotic souvenirs. Most likely you will not have any problems. But what do you do IF you are arrested in another country.

I am not trying to scare people away from traveling but it is important to talk about the possibility of arrest in a foreign country.

It doesn’t matter whether you did something wrong, it was a misunderstanding, or it is a corrupt police shakedown. Getting arrested in another country can be very scary, confusing and disorienting.  It can be more difficult because you are in unfamiliar surroundings, and may not know the local language, customs, or legal system.

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An Embassy Evacuation of US Citizens


Photo from

Hopefully you will do your research and take the necessary precautions and never have a problem when you travel to another country.  But sometimes the unexpected happens.  There is an earthquake or a tsunami. Or a coup. Then what do you do?  If the situation is really bad, what will the US Embassy do to help you leave the country?

The current situation in Burundi is a good opportunity to look at what an embassy does to assist US citizens to leave the country and how the evacuation process works.

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911 for Foreign Country Emergencies

Who do you call if you need the police or an ambulance during your trip? Not every country uses “911” as their emergency phone number.

Here is a useful list of emergency phone numbers in foreign countries.  Write down the number or put it in your phone for your destination country.

Hopefully you won’t need it.  But it is good to have just in case.

Remember, it is possible the number may not have an English‐speaking operator.


Stay safe and travel far.

US Citizens in Nepal

Nepal Earthquake

According to the USGS, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake was reported at 1156 local time (0211 EDT) approximately 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal.   The Department of State issued a Travel Alert and is advising all U.S. citizens to shelter in place if they are in a safe location.  There is significant property damage in Kathmandu.  Telephone service has been affected but it is often possible to contact loved ones via text message.  If you are in Nepal, please contact your family and friends to let them know you are safe.

U.S. citizens in Nepal who need assistance can contact the U.S. Embassy at +977 1 423 4100.

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