Dealing with emergency situations in the USA

Hello everybody,

Dealing with unexpected situations abroad can be a very difficult matter. In order to better help expats and soon-to-be expats in the USA face such tricky situations, we invite you to share your advice and experience.

What are the key emergency numbers you should know by heart?

In the event of a legal problem, an accident, a natural disaster, an injury or the death of a close family member, what are the first things to do in the USA?

What are the things to plan ahead in order to better cope with such unexpected situations (registration at the Embassy, transport, medical, comprehensive insurance for instance)?

If you have gone through such experiences in the USA, do not hesitate to share your story.

Thank you in advance!


Your insurance phone number
Your credit card stolen number
Power company emergency
Your landlord/management office emergency line
Your workplace security.
Criminal lawyer
Immigration attorney
The address of the nearest immediate care provider ( to avoid going to ER ad getting charged a ton!).
Embassy number

It may be difficult and frustrating sometimes, but the most important thing to manage when things don’t go right is to stay patient, calm and positive.

I absolutely like what MHZaher83 is placing here and will add some details.

911 – They are for real, real emergency help

311 – They will help you with directions, if you locked your keys in your car, etc. Some cities have free help for this with police person, some not, and you should call a locksmith or your insurer if such coverage was purchased. Alternately, you can call the motor club card if you are a member.
In a case of mass emergency, the above numbers will be overloaded, so you should manage the situation yourself: have a bag with all basic stuff in; have written down your most important contact numbers; talk in advance with the closest people you know, that in case of such emergency, you would meet them at a certain place;

Your insurance phone number – the traveler’s insurance packages and global medical include in their coverage emergency reunion and emergency evacuation. As a foreigner keep this insurance for at least two years. It is designed for your specific situation and special circumstances.
I am telling this as an insurance agent who was an expat and who is traveling often. See this web page from my website> Health Insurance> World Medical Insurance. The mobile version has problems currently, but if opened on a computer, this should work.
If you go ahead with a quote, you’ll see different companies, variations and options. Read what is included and what excluded from coverage. If you have already local insurance, keep your international in reserve and regulate the price through designing the appropriate coverage. If you lose your job, you are losing your health insurance. You have three months to replace it if you are still staying in the US. Some circumstances apply. You can call me at 877-283-4987

Your credit card stolen number.  Keep some cash available for emergency situations. There could be power outages, so the ATMs might not work.

Power company emergency

Your landlord/management office emergency line

Your workplace security; Ask at your job if there is a plan in case of emergency, and what your role should be. Some companies have reserved locations where employees should move in case of emergency.

Criminal lawyer

Immigration attorney

The address of the nearest immediate health care provider (to avoid going to ER and getting charged a ton!). Check for the 24/7 medical clinic near you. They work with most insurance plans.

Embassy number
Some small tips:
If the police stop you, don’t try to leave the car. Stay in; you can be locked in, but open the window enough to be able to talk to the officer.
If you are involved in an auto accident, call 911, wait for the police to come, and don’t move your car (except when obstructing traffic). Don’t reject a medical check-up – the medical coverage in your auto insurance of $5000 will pay for such tests. Don’t talk too much with the other involved party, but do help if they need immediate help or are asking for help. If the accident is very minor, no damages and the other party agrees not to follow with a claim, try to get it in writing. People change their minds. Always TAKE PICTURES.

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