Emergencies

Our main toll-free number for use during office hours is 1-866-404-USAC (1-866-404-8722) or 775-784-6569. If calling after regular business hours, the recording will provide an alternate phone number for the emergency contact who will be able to connect with overseas staff, if necessary.

All students are provided with on-site emergency contact information prior to their departure and are encouraged to share this information with their family members. If your family needs to contact you while you are abroad due to a family emergency and are unable to reach you directly, they may use the contact information provided (please note time zone changes). Please limit the use of the on-site contact numbers to emergency situations. Check your USAC Student Gateway account to ensure your emergency contact's information is up to date.

Preparation

US citizens are strongly encouraged to register with the US Department of State in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that the US Embassy may contact them in case of an emergency at home or if a situation arises in the program country. The process is free and can be done online at the STEP website. Students should update their contact information for STEP after they arrive on-site. Non-US students should contact their country's embassy to enquire about similar services.

For more government travel updates and resources, visit the links below:

In addition to this, read all pre-departure health and safety information provided by USAC for site-specific safety information. More details will be provided during the mandatory on-site orientation, including contact information, rendezvous locations, instructions for communicating travel plans, and more.

Procedures

The safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff is one of USAC’s top priorities. We believe it is in everyone’s interest to prepare for most foreseeable occurrences. As such, USAC has developed extensive and very specific crisis management and emergency response procedures to address different types of emergencies (e.g. natural disaster, accident/illness, student death, crime, etc.). USAC students are provided with emergency procedure information in their Student Toolkit and pre-departure documents as well as during the mandatory on-site orientation.

Risk Assessment

USAC monitors the US Department of State Travel Advisories and Warnings, bulletins from the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), domestic and international news sources, our network of colleagues around the world, and other appropriate resources on a daily basis for any world events that may affect program sites and/or participants.

Emergency Plan

It is impossible to know which of the potential emergency situations a USAC student may face at any given moment. Consequently, it is impossible to develop one single course of action which would be appropriate in every circumstance. In general, in the event of an emergency, the Resident Director or other on-site staff member will report to the USAC Central Office as soon as possible to provide information and discuss any necessary follow-up plans. As necessary, the USAC Director will convene a crisis management team who will meet to assess the situation and determine the appropriate response.

For large-scale emergencies impacting an entire program location, USAC staff will communicate with the students’ emergency contacts and home universities as well as post updates on the USAC website. The crisis team will debrief after every major event to determine if changes to the emergency procedures are needed.

Students are advised to maintain regular contact with their parents, guardians, and other emergency contacts and to get in touch with them as soon as possible after an emergency so as to allay concerns.