Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Be Ready

Crisis Abroad: Be Ready – U.S. Mission, Ecuador, October 16, 2019

Think Ahead

Recent events in Ecuador serve as a reminder that crises may occur anywhere at any time. The country is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and volcano eruptions. The U.S. Mission in Ecuador reminds U.S. citizens of the importance of preparing for potential crises before they occur and offers the following suggestions as you prepare. Don’t delay – prepare today to be ready tomorrow!

Be Informed

Be Prepared

  • Have a minimum two-week supply of food and water for each member of your household – and do not forget your pets!  A crisis can make it impossible to leave your home or make the local water undrinkable.
  • Your emergency kit, whether for remaining in place or leaving in a hurry, should include your passports, birth abroad certificates for children born overseas, medical, vaccination, and school records, cash, credit cards, and a card with local translations of basic terms.  If you have pets, be sure to have their vaccination records.  Learn more about items to include in an Emergency Kit or Go Kit.
  • Households with infants and young children should plan for food and supplies, such as diapers and wipes, formula or baby food, a few favorite toys, and a change of clothing.
  • If you take medication, make sure to have at least a two-week supply at any given time – if you can, we encourage enough for a month.  Have a copy of your prescriptions handy.
  • If you use assistive or medical devices that require a power supply, be sure to find backup power or other ways that will sustain your device or equipment during a power outage.
  • We recommend making sure you have health insurance whenever you are traveling abroad.  For more information, see Insurance Providers for Overseas Coverage.
  • Make sure your passport is ready for use in case you should need to travel suddenly.  Most countries require that it be valid for at least six months after the end of your trip and that it have two or more blank pages.  See our passport page for information about renewing passports in Ecuador.

Be Connected

  • Keep a list of your emergency contacts handy and create a communication plan for reaching family and friends in the event of a crisis.
  • Phone lines are often affected during a crisis.  Think about other ways to communicate.  For example, update your social media status often and send messages as regularly as possible to let friends and family know how you are doing.
  • The U.S. embassy and consulate, along with the Bureau of Consular Affairs, use social media to provide information – connect with us! Twitter Facebook
  • For more information, see Ways to Contact Loved Ones in a Crisis Abroad.
  • Share the information in this message with family, friends, neighbors, and other U.S. citizens.

Be Safe 

  • Have an exit strategy.  Know how you will get out of harm’s way without needing to rely on assistance – a crisis may prevent or delay emergency responders’ ability to get to you and there will be many people needing help.
  • Be sure you know more than one way to get towards safety – the crisis event may make some roads unpassable or unsafe.
  • Follow instructions from local authorities about security and evacuation.  Doing so could save your life.  ECU 911 and Agencia Nacional de Transito provide useful information.
  • Monitor local radio, television, and other sources for updates.  Situations can change quickly, limiting the time you have to get out.
  • If you are staying in a hotel, talk to the staff to be sure you know the hotel’s emergency plan for a variety of crisis events – fire, flood, electrical outage, storms, civil unrest, earthquake, volcano eruption, etc.
  • Keep in touch with your tour operators, hotel staff, airline, cruise company, and local officials for itinerary changes or evacuation instructions.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Quito and U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil if you need emergency help.  Please keep in mind that this will not alert emergency responders – if you need emergency medical attention or police assistance, contact the local authorities directly if you can.  Learn more about Ecuador’s emergency service, ECU 911.