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Emergencies Abroad

medical helicopter

Visit Pandemic Travel Policy, Guidelines, and Recommendations for current Cornell travel information. Visit Cornell's COVID-19 Response for campus-wide information.

Medical or Mental Health Emergencies

  1. Threat to life, limb, or eye — call an ambulance! Here is a list of local “911” equivalents around the world.
  2. Contact International SOS (ISOS) for a hospital/physician referral at 1-215-942-8478 and reference membership number 11BSCA827281
  3. Let International Travel Health and Safety (ITHS) know:

Safety or Security Emergencies

Victim of a crime:

  1. If safe to do so, contact the local police to report the incident and get immediate help. Request a copy of the police report. Here is a list of local “911” equivalents around the world.
  2. Contact ISOS for assistance with stolen documents, security intelligence, information on local laws, and medical referrals at 1-215-942-8478 and reference membership number 11BSCA827281
  3. Consular officers are also available for emergency assistance 24 hours/day, 7 days/week and can connect you with the appropriate local authorities. Here is a list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.
  4. You can also contact the U.S. Department of State (DoS) directly from overseas by calling 1-202-501-4444 for help with emergency needs that arise as a result of the crime.
  5. Let ITHS know:

Victim of sexual assault:

  1. If you are the victim of sexual assault, follow the guidelines above for Medical Emergencies and Victim of a Crime. Be aware that in some countries, local authorities may not be as helpful or understanding as one might expect in the U.S. If you have questions about the local culture and attitudes towards sexual assault, contact the DoS from overseas by calling 1-202-501-4444.
  2. You are encouraged and in some cases required to report the incident.
  3. Let ITHS know:
  4. Find support and more information on the Pathways to Safety International and RAINN websites.

In the event of terrorism, a violent uprising, or natural disaster:

  1. Shelter in a safe place and monitor the advice of local authorities.
  2. For U.S. Citizens, the DoS will notify and advise you (first by email) if you enrolled through STEP, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Non-U.S. citizens can also sign up to receive travel alerts and advisories by email but will not have access to the same emergency services. It is advisable to check with your own Embassy for similar programs.
  3. ITHS will attempt to notify you, verify your well-being, and arrange for needed transport as a benefit registered in the International Travel Registry. Registering Cornell-related international travel is mandatory for all students, staff, and faculty.
  4. Let ITHS know you are ok or need assistance.

Other Emergencies

Arrest or detention abroad:

  1. Personally notify, or ask the prison authorities to notify, the U.S. embassy or consulate. Here is a list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.
  2. Contact your supervisor or trip leader, and relatives.
  3. Let ITHS know:

Involved in a motor vehicle accident:

  1. Report the accident to the local police.
  2. Follow medical emergency procedures if needed.
  3. Let ITHS know:
  4. ​​​If on Cornell business, report the accident

Missing persons:

  1. Let ITHS know:
  2. ITHS will assist in calling known emergency contacts and local partners.
  3. Notify the local police and file a missing person’s report.
  4. Notify the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the person’s citizenship. Here is a list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.
    • Note that the U.S. Consular officers will reach out to hospitals and law enforcement agencies to see if U.S. citizens were admitted or arrested but cannot divulge their findings without the written permission of the missing person.