Learn Your Destination's Emergency Number Before You Travel

Photo: Shutterstock

What happens when you dial 000 abroad? Depending on where you are, it’ll either put you in touch with a local emergency response team or remain unanswered, which is the last thing you need in a crisis.

Without fear of sounding like an overly protective parent, here’s a good piece of safety advice from Smarter Travel: Before you head overseas, always learn your destination’s emergency response numbers and add them to your contacts in your phone for safekeeping.

While dialling 000 or 911 may put you in touch with a local emergency response in some countries, it’s not universally applicable. Several countries like Japan and Switzerland also have separate numbers for situations that require an ambulance, firefighters or police.

If you’re planning a trip, take note of these countries’ emergency numbers:

  • Argentina: 101 for ambulance and police; 107 for fire.

  • Australia: 000 for all emergencies (106 if you have a speech or hearing impairment).

  • Egypt: 123 for ambulance; 180 for fire; 122 for police.

  • India: 102 for ambulance; 101 for fire; 100 for police (or 103 for traffic-related accidents).

  • Japan: 119 for ambulance and fire; 110 for police.

  • Jamaica: 110 for ambulance and fire; 119 for police.

  • Kenya: 999 for all emergencies. 

  • Morocco: 15 for ambulance and fire; 10 for 19.

  • New Zealand: 111 for all emergencies.

  • South Africa: 10177 for ambulance and fire; 10111 for police. (The city of Cape Town also uses 107 for all emergencies.)  

  • Switzerland: 144 for ambulance; 118 for fire; 117 for police.

Thankfully, if you’re visiting a country in the European Union, you likely only have one number to remember: 112 — you can dial it in case of emergency from any landline or cell phone. In some countries, 112 also functions alongside their own national emergency numbers. In Italy, for example, dialling 112 will reach an operator who will then transfer you using the number of a local fire department or police. Basically, when all else fails, dial 112 in the E.U. and they will connect you to the right party.

Plenty of nations, like the U.S., use 911 as their emergency contact number. These countries include places like the Bahamas, Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and a whole host of other nations. If you don’t see your destination above, take a look at the complete list of emergency response numbers.

Don’t worry about dialling country codes, either, assuming you have a phone that has internationally roaming activated. It should allow you to dial locally and without the country code prefix. If not, it doesn’t hurt to do an online search for it in advance of your trip (or use Country Code to find it).

Lastly, you might be a little concerned about the language barrier while calling an emergency line. As Smarter Travel also recommends, when all else fails, give your local embassy a call. Hopefully, they can help facilitate the conversation or dial an emergency line on your behalf.


Comments

Be the first to comment on this story!

Trending Stories Right Now