Welcome to the Emergency Preparedness section of the U. S. Embassy website! The United States Government has no higher responsibility than to protect American citizens and ensure their well-being while traveling or residing abroad. With this in mind, we have identified a wide range of information from U.S., Bahamian, and Turks and Caicos Islands (TCIs) government sources to help you and your family stay safe while visiting or residing in The Bahamas or the TCIs.
Millions of Americans visit The Bahamas and TCIs safely each year. Nonetheless, the archipelago which forms The Bahamas and the TCIs consists of hundreds of individual islands and cay, which are subject to risks and natural disasters. In recent years, for example, Hurricanes Jeanne and Ike devastated various parts of the archipelago. Most potential natural threats can be successfully managed, or their adverse impacts mitigated, through awareness and preparation. The Embassy recommends that you take three fundamental steps to protect yourself and your family while The Bahamas or TCIs:
- Get a Kit
- Make a plan
- Be Informed
For general information about these three steps, please visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website www.Ready.gov.
Information specific to hurricane preparedness in The Bahamas and TCIs can be found on our Hurricane Preparedness page.
During or after a natural disaster, the Consular Section works hard to provide current information to American citizens in the disaster zone. This information is usually sent out as “Warden Messages” (primarily via email) to all American citizens who have enrolled in the SMART Traveler program and indicated their presence in The Bahamas or TCIs.
Avoiding a natural disaster is preferable. The Embassy recommends that American citizens traveling in the region monitor local events and have realistic contingency plans. If a natural disaster threatens, plan accordingly.
If you are caught up in a natural disaster or civil disturbance, you should let your relatives know as soon as possible that you are safe, or contact a U.S. consul who will pass that message to your family through the State Department. U.S. officials will do everything they can to contact you and advise you. However, priority will be given to helping Americans who have been hurt or are in immediate danger.