Center for Global Experiences


Emergencies while traveling abroad can come in all shapes and sizes, from a natural disaster to political upheaval, from an accident or illness to becoming the victim of crime. Excessive worrying can kill any trip buzz, but taking simple precautions and outlining potential emergencies before travel can ease your mind. An hour or two of work may save your trip if the “worst case scenario” should occur. You should have already completed your Emergency Action Plan (EAP).  It will help you get in contact quickly with the appropriate people.

Items that you should have with you at all times:

  1. Copy of Passport and Visa (where applicable)

  2. Copy of Insurance Cards/Information

  3. Access to Area Maps/Safe Routes

  4. Emergency Wallet Card

  5. Copy of Emergency Contacts

  6. Special Medical Needs Treatment Information (where applicable)

  7. Drivers License

  8. Cell phone

  9. Battery Bank (charged)

  10. Money- Local currency, US currency, ATM/Credit Card

Emergency Contacts:

Call the local emergency number on your Emergency Wallet Card

Call your program director or local coordinator at your host university/school

Call the nearest U.S. Embassy on your Emergency Wallet Card

TN Tech Center for Global Experiences 1-931-372-3659 8:00-4:30pm

TN Tech University Police 1-931-372-3234 after office hours (the Police will contact the appropriate staff person on their personal phone and that person will contact you)

TN Tech Title IX Coordinator 1-931-372-3112

Assistant Director- Dr. Amy Miller almiller@tntech.ed

Steps to help you stay calm and use your Emergency Action Plan (EAP) more effectively in an emergency.

STEP ONE- Remain calm. Take a deep breath. You will need a clear head in order to focus on your next move.
STEP TWO- Assess the situation/Get Advice from Program Staff. Identify in what kind of emergency situation you find yourself. Contact program staff for advice. An emergency/crisis can be:

Personal: Accident/Injury, Death, Illness, Family Problem, Sexual Assault, Kidnapping, Arrest, etc.
Regional: Natural/Environmental Disaster, Civil Unrest, Political Uprising, Terrorist Attack, War Outbreak, etc.
STEP THREE- Take Action. Exercise good judgment. Follow your evacuation plan/written instructions/maps you have developed as part of your EAP to help remove you from the emergency and get you to a safer location where you can get help. Remember the alternate transportation options you have available.
STEP FOUR- Get in touch. Now that you are in a safer and more stable location, update others about your situation. Using a method of communication at your disposal, get in touch with your emergency contacts so they can help you. Have them assist you in finding what you need (medical care, transport, a lawyer, etc.)

Take care of yourself. While you are waiting for your contacts to assist you, or in case you cannot reach anyone to assist you, use your emergency kit. Take out the supplies you need to keep yourself healthy (bandages, food, jacket, radio, etc). You may need additional/continuing medical care and/or personal/psychological counseling.
Keep Trying. If you cannot get a hold of anyone to help you (because phone lines are down, you are trapped, etc) don't give up. Try alternate methods of communication and transportation until you are able to reach someone. If you need to move to another location, let others know and leave a written description of where you are going.
STEP FIVE- Move to a more permanent location. After you have removed yourself from any immediate threat, regrouped at a safer location, and gotten in touch with your emergency contacts, you may need to move to a more permanent location for treatment/assistance. Consider your transportation options and get yourself to the appropriate location (hospital, police station, embassy/consulate, contact's home, counseling center, etc.)
STEP SIX- Stay in touch. Maintain contact and update your emergency contacts on your condition. It would be useful to have a "communication tree" whereby your emergency contacts can collaborate to help you through the emergency situation (you may need to have privacy release forms in place for this to happen).
STEP SEVEN- Evaluate and revise your EAP. After the emergency is over, and once your condition has stabilized, evaluate your EAP and use what you've learned to revise it in case of future emergencies.

You can also access the U.S. Department of State Travel website for more contacts and information regarding Emergencies Abroad and what to do.

Things that need to be reported to the Tennessee Tech Center for Global Experiences are alcohol/drug issues, theft/assault, grave injury, hospitalization, fire, and arrest.

Non-Emergency Issues

There are some situations that you will encounter that will feel very extreme in a new environment. But in the grand scheme of things, you will be okay and you will figure out what to do.  What is considered a non-emergency?  Here are some examples:

  • Being lost (refer to Emergency Wallet Card and take a taxi)
  • Having a cold or other minor illness (visit a pharmacy or local clinic if necessary)
  • Lost Passport (contact the nearest U.S. embassy, info on Emergency Wallet Card)
  • Overdue library book (pay the fees)
  • Missed flight (contact the airline and get on the next flight)
  • Lost luggage (contact the airline and file a claim)


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