Evacuations and Natural Disasters
You may need to leave the country prior to your scheduled departure because of a political upheaval or a natural disaster. Unfortunately, these conditions often cause disruptions in commercial transportation. If this happens, and it appears unsafe for Americans to remain, the embassy and consulates will work with a task force in Washington, D.C. to charter special flights and ground transportation to help Americans depart.
While the U.S. Government cannot order Americans to leave a foreign country, it can advise and try to assist those who wish to leave. Remember, if you’ve registered your trip, it will be easier to locate you and get you safely out of the country.
Check out the State Department’s Evacuation Plan for more information. While the list was original created for diplomats living abroad, it contains valuable information for all citizens abroad. An evacuation can be a stressful event, but the information provided can help you decide what to take, where to go, and all the things necessary for a smooth transition.
NOTE: If you receive evacuation assistance, you are required to sign a promissory note agreeing to reimburse the government for some of the evacuation costs (It’s the law). More information can be found on the DS-3072 Emergency Loan Application and Evacuation Document.
Sometimes even Mother Nature can wreak havoc on the best-made plans and your trip may be cut short. You’ve probably seen news reports of hurricanes, tsunamis, or volcanic eruptions creating turmoil throughout the world. If a natural disaster occurs, and it’s unsafe for Americans to remain in country, the embassy and consulates will work to locate and assist U.S. citizens. While the U.S. government cannot order you to leave a foreign country, embassy and consulate staff can advise and assist those who wish to leave. In addition, staff will make all efforts to keep Americans safe overseas. Remember, it will be easier to locate you and assist you if you’ve registered your trip. Of course if you're ok, you might want to call your folks and let them know.