US State Department Services and Travel Alerts

One service overseas travelers should take advantage of is the US Department of State. First off, the State Department offers its STEP program where a traveler signs up before they go on an overseas trip. State Department Step Program

If there is some type of crisis in the country of destination, the State Department will contact you and recommend to you what steps you may need to take to stay safe and help with your evacuation if needed.

Also, if you were to go missing for whatever reason, the State Department would have a record of your trip and your reported areas of stay. Your tax dollars pay for this service. It’s a smart move to use this service particularly if you are traveling to a third world country.

During a crisis in a country, this is what the State Department says they will do.

The actions we take depend on the nature of the crisis. In some instances, we may only need to provide information on conditions in the country, such as warning about areas of unrest, how and where to seek help, and other useful advice. In more serious situations, we may recommend that U.S. citizens leave the foreign country, and, if commercial transportation is not available, provide departure assistance, as our resources permit.

Here is a link to a list of questions and answers by the US State Department.
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/emergencies/crisis-support.html