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Emergencies Abroad: What Do You Dial?

by: Mindel DeLaTorre

December 1, 2010

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If you're traveling in Europe and suddenly you need to make an emergency call - what do you do? Dial "112." Don't call 911 as you would in the United States; that number doesn't work in Europe. Dialing 112 from any country in the European Union (EU) will connect you to emergency services, such as police, fire, and ambulance services. (See the list of European Union member countries.) Dialing 112 could be a life-saver and is completely free. You can dial 112 from any mobile phone, landline, or payphone. In most EU countries, the operator will speak both the local language and English (you can find country specific details).

If you're traveling to countries outside of Europe, check the State Department website before you depart to identify the emergency calling number in the countries you'll be traveling to. These numbers are available from the State Department. (Click on the specific country, then search under "Information for Victims of Crime.") You will see that "112" also is the emergency calling number in many other countries. But it is not the number everywhere. For example, the emergency number in South Africa is "10111." And in some countries, there may be variations. In India, the local equivalent to our "911" emergency number is "100," but "112" also works on mobile phones; and from a mobile phone in South Korea, the number is "02-112." Be aware too that in some countries such as Brazil and Haiti, you have to call a different number for different services. For example, in Brazil, the number for police is "190," while the number for fire and medical is "193." When traveling abroad, also keep in mind that the response times and services available on the other end of the call may be different than those in your local community in the United States.

Here is additional international travel information that you may find helpful:

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