Before You Leave

Check if a travel advisory This hyperlink will open in a new window. has been published by the Government of Canada regarding your destination. Be aware of all the health and safety recommendations, requirements for entering and exiting the country, as well as the laws and customs you must follow at your destination.

Use the Registration of Canadians Abroad This hyperlink will open in a new window. service so the Government of Canada can send you important information, in case of emergency.

Note the following information and keep it on hand:

Provide someone you trust with:

  • your detailed itinerary
  • coordinates where you can be reached during your travels
  • a copy of your important papers and official documents

Assemble an emergency kit you will take with you on your travels. This kit should include the following items:

  • a photocopy of your travel insurance or a card providing the coordinates for reaching the insurance company
  • an international phone card
  • a credit card
  • a survival blanket
  • a first aid kit
  • your medication and that of people travelling with you

It’s important to include a first aid kit and medication in your emergency kit, no matter which country you’re travelling to. They can be difficult to find in countries other than Canada or be different from the ones found at home. It is also recommended to bring more medication than what is needed for the duration of your trip, in case you have to extend your stay. Check whether you’ll be able to take them through customs, with or without a prescription.

For every member of your family travelling with you, also include the following documents in your kit:

  • a passport copy
  • copies of prescriptions for medication and glasses
  • a list of generic medications
  • copies of vaccination records

Place this emergency kit in a checked bag, not in your hand luggage.

Take out travel insurance offering adequate coverage and keep the details of your coverage with you (in electronic or printed form) during your personal and professional activities.

Activate the « locate device » function on your mobile phone and tell a close one (family, friend or colleague) who will be able to locate you in case there is a problem. Inform this person that you are authorizing them to do so.

During Your Travels

Always know where you are in the country, in case an emergency is declared.

Keep with you at all times:

  • your passport
  • some cash
  • a list of people to contact in case of emergency, ranked in terms of priority
  • a plan (paper or electronic) of itineraries and addresses included in your program

How to react if an emergency situation occurs at your destination

Save your resources and your strength from the beginning, as relief could take longer to arrive than expected.

Accept help from local resources, such as:

  • local crisis management organizations (e.g., civil protection units)
  • humanitarian organizations present on the ground (Red Cross or Red Crescent)
  • religious organizations
  • community centers, hospitals or health centers
  • tourist establishments (like hotels, which are also good gathering points)
  • the local population

Do not presume that your status as a foreign national gives you priority for help over local populations.

Surround yourself with compatriots or people in the same situation as you, to avoid being isolated.

Show reserve, in the event of a political crisis. 

Contact your family and your employer (if you are travelling on business) as soon as you are in a safe place.

Opt for text messages, emails or social media messaging, as they take up less bandwidth on telecommunication networks.

Inform local Canadian representatives This hyperlink will open in a new window. that you are in the country and let them know about your situation and needs.

Stay in contact with Canadian authorities to find out applicable evacuation procedures. In the event of natural disasters or serious civil unrest, the Government of Canada can implement measures to help Canadian nationals evacuate to safety.

Stay constantly informed about the situation via:

  • local media, which are good sources of information about the situation
  • international media, who will inform you about how the situation is assessed by the international community; international aid; the Government of Canada’s efforts and its position in political situations

Keep in mind the secondary risks that could emerge after the initial emergency.

Analyze the situation and try to predict its evolution according to:

  • the country’s level of political stability
  • the country’s openness to the outside world
  • the state of infrastructures
  • ease of access to resources and essential services

Last update: February 23, 2023


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