Emergency Planning and Contact
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Crisis Awareness and Preparedness
The Department of State web site contains a great deal of useful information about a wide variety of man-made and natural disasters and how to prepare for or avoid them. Review this information as part of your emergency planning.
Taiwan is subject to severe earthquakes, most recently in September 1999 when more than 2,000 people were killed in an earthquake in Central Taiwan. Everyone residing in Taiwan needs to have an emergency plan for dealing with the aftermath of a severe earthquake. Taipei Living published by the Community Service Center offers some excellent advice on this subject. Other organizations offering earthquake information include: U.S. Red Cross, U.S. Geological Survey, Los Angeles Fire Department, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The typhoon season in Taiwan runs from April through October, although storms are most frequent from July to October. Well before the arrival of the typhoon season, you should insure that you have emergency supplies on hand such as candles and matches, flashlights and batteries, a first aid kit, canned food, bottled water, plastic sheeting, etc. In the event of an approaching typhoon you should tune your radio to ICRT (100.7FM), which provides English-language news, or you can visit the web site of Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau at . (The button to select the English version is in the upper right hand corner of the screen.) The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) tracks current typhoon systems in the Pacific Ocean.
If it appears that a typhoon will hit your area, you must make adequate preparations. Taipei Living, published by the Community Service Center, includes a checklist of steps to take if it is predicted that a typhoon is going to hit Taiwan. The U.S. Red Cross also offers advice on preparing for typhoons.
Pandemic Influenza and Sheltering-In-Place
The U.S. Department of State provides the following information to U.S. citizens overseas to guide them in preparation for a pandemic:
- Avian Influenza Fact Sheet
- Shelter-in Place Guidance
- Frequently Asked Questions about Avian Influenza and Pandemic Influenza
The Fact Sheet cited above includes current U.S. Government policy for the preparation, evacuation, and shelter-in-place contingencies for all overseas employees under Chief of Mission authority (including AIT employees), and their accompanying dependents, during a pandemic.
Overseas citizens are also encouraged to refer to the Flu.gov website and pay particular attention to the individual planning checklist, and to review the WHO website when planning for an emergency..
The Taiwan authorities post information regarding Avian Influenza on the Council of Agriculture website. The Department of Health issued a prevention handbook in 2005. The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine also posts relevant information
Many different circumstances, such as a major natural disaster, could result in you deciding to evacuate your family to the U.S. In order to prepare for this possibility, please go to this page: "Evacuation Plan" which contains a paper on this subject prepared by the Family Liaison Office of the Department of State. Although some of the information is relevant only to U.S. government employees, it contains a great deal of advice that is useful to anyone living overseas.
Information regarding evacuations can be found on the Department of State Travel.state.gov website.
Soon after your arrival in Taiwan you should determine the location of the nearest emergency room. Unless you have local health insurance, you will be expected to pay for services immediately. Therefore, if you need to go to the emergency room try to take cash and a friend to stand in line for you. Please be aware that many U.S. health insurance programs, including Medicare, do not provide coverage for medical care overseas. If you are going to be traveling/living abroad, you should make sure that you have appropriate coverage. While AIT can help you transfer money from relatives or friends in the U.S. to pay your medical bills, we are unable to pay them for you.
Although the crime rate in Taiwan is relatively low, burglaries, pick pocketing, and robberies are not unknown. Be prepared by keeping photocopies of your passport, other identification, and credit cards. Also have the necessary telephone numbers on hand to notify financial institutions of your losses. Contact your nearest Foreign Affairs Police office to report the crime. If you lose your passport, see our Passports section for information on how to replace it.
In case of an American Citizen Emergency, please call (02) 2162-2000 and press 0 or * (star) at any time to reach an operator or duty officer. If calling from the United States, please call 1-888-407-4747.
For Kaohsiung area contact information, visit American Citizen Services at AIT Kaohsiung's website.
Any other American Citizen Services questions, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org