Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Countries where avoidance of travel is recommended will have Travel Warnings as well as Consular Information Sheets. You may also want to review specific country Background Notes.
Public Announcements (PAs) are a means to disseminate information about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or trans-national conditions posing significant risks to the security of American travelers. PAs are made when there is a specific threat that cannot be countered. In the past, PAs have been issued to deal with short-term coups, violence by terrorists and anniversary dates of specific terrorist events.
Consular Information Sheets
Consular Information Sheets are available for every country of the world. They include such information as location of the U.S. embassy or consulate in the subject country, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information and drug penalties. If an unstable condition exists in a country that is not severe enough to warrant a Travel Warning, a description of the condition(s) may be included under an optional section entitled "Safety/Security." On limited occasions, we also restate in this section any U.S. embassy advice given to official employees. Consular Information Sheets generally do not include advice, but instead present information in a factual manner so the traveler can make his or her own decisions concerning travel to a particular country.
Country Background Notes
If you are looking for information on any of the U.S. territories and possessions, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam or American Samoa, you can go to the CIA Factbook.
Emergency Planning Guidelines for American Businesses Abroad
The Overseas Security Advisory Council from the U.S. Department of State has developed this booklet that focuses on assisting businesses abroad to prepare for disasters. Disasters can strike randomly and unpredictably. To be prepared for a wide variety of emergencies that can occur with little warning, American private organizations abroad should be involved in planning for such events. Any occurrence that causes a significant disruption to their undertakings or adversely affects the safety of employees must be regarded as an emergency or disaster. Adequate planning requires an emergency action plan that prevents or minimizes the loss of life and or limb, material damage, and loss of their functions and a post-disaster plan that expedites recovery. Effective planning for emergency preparedness will lessen the vulnerability of American businesses to disasters and facilitate the role of the U.S. Government in rendering assistance where possible to all Americans and their families living abroad.
In addition, please see the section “Tips for Traveling Abroad" for other important health and safety information. For up-to-date information visit the State Department's “News" section.
Things You Should Know
Know What to Expect
Department of State - STEP Program