When you are traveling overseas, maybe for just a short trip or an employment, it is always smart to prepare for emergencies. Get to know the country’s storm signal, typhoon and other natural disaster warnings and the possible sicknesses you may get during your stay. In a case of serious difficulties, you may ask for assistance at the US Embassy or consulate.
In a case of lost or stolen passport, get a police report first from a local police station. As soon as obtained, you may then contact the Embassy. For urgent travel needs, a temporary passport may be issued within 24 hours or you may be given a transportation letter to be permitted to enter the US without a passport. Otherwise, you will have to wait for your new passport to be shipped from the U.S.
If you got sick while you are away, the embassy can find you medical assistance, local doctors and hospitals. The consular officer can also notify your family and friends if you wish. In serious cases, they can arrange your return, either through commercial air ambulance or a US Air Force medical aircraft. Though you or your family will have to shoulder all the costs related to the return.
Victims Of Crime
If of unfortunate circumstances, you have been a victim of crime, get a police report from the local police station and report the crime to the nearest US embassy. Aside from medical help, the consular personnel can help you regarding the criminal justice due process in the country you are visiting and in that of your state.
Arrest & Detention
At worst scenarios that you got involved in a crime resulting incarceration, the embassy will not neglect you. Although the consular officers cannot demand your release or represent you in court, they can help you in several ways, such as finding you a local lawyer, contacting your family, arranging medical care, attending your trial and monitoring your situation at the prison.
In case your family has lost contact with you, they may contact the State Department’s Overseas Citizen Services and Office of Children Issues for citizens under the age of 18. These offices are available in every local embassy. The officers work closely with local authorities, and contacts, hotels, hospitals and prisons.
If by an unfortunate event, a case of death abroad, the embassy prepares an official Foreign Service Report of Death and contacts the family. They also assist in the arrangement for the return of the remains to the US. Nevertheless, the costs of return will be again shouldered by the family of the deceased American citizen.
When in any chance, during your stay you have been affected by a natural disaster, the embassy can forward a message to your relative that you are safe. In times of crisis, the embassy will assist, contact your relatives and try to locate you.
Aside from this emergency assistance by the US embassy, one important service is the Absentee voting for the citizens outside the country who wish to vote.