Large-scale emergencies abroad
If your destination is affected by a large-scale emergency, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, the Government of Canada will send out updated information and advisories through its website, social media accounts, by email and in some cases, by phone and SMS.
The Government of Canada may also, as a last resort, help Canadians with transportation to the nearest safe location on a cost-recovery basis when all other means of commercial and personal transportation have been exhausted. Canada sometimes coordinates evacuation assistance with other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
If you receive evacuation assistance from the Government of Canada, you will receive an invoice for the cost, which must be paid within 30 days. You are also responsible for paying for your travel beyond a safe location and any related costs.
There may be constraints on government resources that limit the ability of the Government of Canada to help you during a large-scale emergency abroad, particularly in countries with a high potential for violent conflict or political instability, or countries or regions recently affected by a natural disaster.
In some cases, our ability to provide services may also be affected by the laws and regulations of other countries.
Before you go
Before you travel to or remain in a country affected by a large-scale emergency, consult our Travel Advice and Advisories for your destination and carefully evaluate how the situation in the country may affect your security and safety. If a Travel Advisory is issued, your travel insurance coverage may be affected.
Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service so that our representatives can contact and assist you in case of an emergency in a foreign country.
Leave a detailed travel itinerary and contact details with family or friends.
Provide family or friends with the telephone number for our Emergency Watch and Response Centre, and carry the contact information for the Canadian embassies and consulates serving the countries you plan to visit.
Prepare a basic emergency kit so that you will be prepared to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours.
If your destination is affected by a large-scale emergency
- Contact your family and friends as soon as you can, even if you have not been affected, and continue to update them on your situation until you leave the affected area.
- If you find yourself in a deteriorating situation abroad, you should consider leaving by commercial means if you can do so safely.
- Monitor local news for the latest information on the situation and follow the instructions of local authorities.
- In case of civil unrest, keep a low profile and avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.
- Call the closest Canadian office serving your location if you need consular help. If the office is closed, your call will be transferred to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa. The centre operates 24/7 and may also be reached directly at +1 613 996 8885 (collect calls are accepted) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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