En español | Q. Is 911 a universal emergency number? My husband and I will soon be traveling overseas and want to be prepared.
A. In addition to the United States, 911 is used in most of Canada and much of the Caribbean and Central America, as well as a few other countries. But in Mexico you call 066, 060 or 080. Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe use 112. Calling 101 will summon an ambulance in Israel, a fire truck in India and police in Argentina.
See also: Got a consumer question? Ask Sid.
For a complete list of emergency numbers outside the U.S., visit http://www.sccfd.org/travel.html. Or when you arrive in your foreign country, just ask.
Other preparation tips to consider before you travel:
• Find out from your cell service provider whether your phone uses Global System for Mobile (GSM) technology. It’s the only available cell service in much of the world. If your phone doesn’t use GSM, consider getting one that does.
• On your phone, store the name and number of a family member or friend under “Emergency Contact” or “ICE” (for In Case of Emergency). In the United States, first responders often look for an ICE contact — someone who can answer questions about your medical history, medications and any allergies you have.
• Store 1-888-407-4747 and 202-501-4444 in your cellphone. These are the numbers for the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Citizens Services. (Use the toll-free number from inside the U.S. and the other abroad.) Also visit the department’s Smart Traveler website, and if you have an iPhone or iPad, consider downloading its Smart Traveler app.
You may also like: 17 great travel planning websites.