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Emergency Protocols

Health and safety are our priorities, and while we cannot guarantee the absolute safety of any individual traveler, IPS has implemented risk management processes to help minimize the risks to those participating in MU-related international travel including study abroad and MAPS programs, or professional placements.

Pro-active risk management  involves:

  • 24/7 emergency phone line access
  • Vetting of third party providers and university partners to include reviewing on-site emergency protocols and availability of health services
  • Vetting of recommended international health insurance plans and/or individual health insurance plans (if applicable)
  • Mandatory Study Abroad Orientation Program that involves a health and safety overview, cultural readiness, as well as topical breakout sessions
  • Emergency response drills with Program Leaders and Millersville campus stakeholders
  • Encouraging travelers to have a working cell phone while traveling that is not dependent on WiFi
In case of general emergencies abroad, you should follow these steps:

1. Secure immediate safety.

2. Contact local emergency services. Know the local equivalent of 911 so that you can get immediate emergency assistance. To find the local emergency phone numbers in the country you will be visiting, go to and search for your country-specific information.

3. Notify your on-site contacts. Know how to reach your host institution, program provider, work placement supervisor, or host family. You should contact this person(s) as soon as you are able so that they may assist you quickly with local resources.

4. Contact the Office of International Programs & Services. 
You can call or text the Emergency Number  01-717-680-7357 directly or via WhatsApp at any hour of the day, to leave a message, report an emergency and/or request assistance from the staff. The dispatcher will record your message and contact information and immediately notify an IPS staff member who will assist. 

During regular business hours (EST), you can reach the IPS Office at 01-717-871-7506.

5. Contact your family. If you are involved in any emergency, it is important for you to remain in contact with your family. They will be concerned about your well-being and will be anxious for regular updates from you or from IPS. There is a limit to the nature and amount of information IPS may disclose to your family members and/or designated emergency contacts, so it is best for those interested parties to communicate with you directly. IPS will only be permitted to communicate with those individuals listed on your FERPA: Release of Information Form.

6. Contact your insurance provider, if the emergency is medical in nature. IPS may not be able to communicate directly with your insurer, so it is important that you know how to reach them if/when needed.

7. Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate. Consular personnel at U.S. Embassies abroad are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates appears on the Travel.State.Gov website. Also note that the Office of Overseas Citizen Services may be reached for assistance with emergencies at 01-202-501-4444.
NOTE: Once you officially register your passport as lost or stolen it is no longer valid. If you later find it, it cannot be used for travel. 

1. Make an official report for a lost passport. It is also a good idea to file a police report if you discover that your passport is missing. Also notify your campus security in case it has been found.

2. Find the nearest embassy or consulate. Next up, notify the National Passport Information Center so that you can officially register it as lost. Locate your closest embassy or consulate as they will help you apply for a new passport.

3. Gather all the supporting documents. In order to replace your passport, you’ll need to submit some documents with the application when you arrive at the embassy. You’ll need the following information:
- A passport photo (some embassies will provide this, but it’s always better to come prepared and bring your own)
- Identification document (driver’s license, expired passport etc). You will submit a copy of your passport and/or visa to your study abroad portal prior to departure. You can download this while abroad.
- Evidence of US citizenship (birth certificate, or a photocopy of your passport if possible).
- Travel itinerary (airline/train tickets).
- A police report, (this isn’t mandatory, but will help confirm circumstances of loss or theft).
- DS-11 Application for Passport (may be completed at the time of application).
- DS-64 Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport (this is where you describe what happened).

4. Wait for the replacement for your lost passport. If you are in the US, replacing a lost passport can take between four and six weeks. However, if you are abroad and have immediate travel plans back to the US, you can be issued with an emergency passport within 72 hours. Be aware that this emergency passport will only last you for the journey back to the US — you’ll have to get a fully valid passport when you return home. Consulates and embassies can’t issue passports on weekends or public holidays.
1. Freeze Your Credit Cards and Debit Cards. Contacting your bank and credit card companies should be done as soon as you realize that your wallet is gone. You may be able to avoid all liability by reporting the loss before anyone has a chance to use your cards.

2. File a Police Report / Report with Campus Security. It is also a good idea to file a police report if you discover that your wallet is missing while you're in a foreign country. This step is especially important if you believe that your wallet was taken while you were walking around, or it was removed from your dorm room/apartment.

3. Contact Someone Back Home. You'll probably need someone from home to send you money if all your credit cards and debit cards are frozen while you're traveling. Due the prevalence of spam emails, try to video chat or call to verify your requests to your contacts. It’s hard to get a hold of cash without your wallet, which can leave you stuck or in a bind. You can receive cash at one of more than 500,000 Western Union agent locations worldwide.

4. Visit the Local Embassy or Consulate. If your lost or stolen wallet contained your identification or passport, you may want to visit the embassy or consulate in the city you're visiting. These buildings are staffed with American citizens with the power to help you take care of the technical details of being able to return home. You'll also need to call the Social Security Administration when you return home if your Social Security card was lost.

5. Notify Host University or Program. They may have a fund available to assist participants in case of emergencies.