Emergency Evacuation Information

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

U.S. Embassy – Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

The Embassy’s highest priority is the protection of U.S. citizens

Protection is a dual responsibility: Citizens and the Embassy each have distinct roles in preparing ourselves and our families.

Signing up for the Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP), keeping your information up to date and staying abreast of Consular Information on the web site is a critical responsibility of U.S. citizens residing or traveling overseas.

Ensure that your passports and other critical travel documents are current.
Evaluate your own family’s security situation and make plans to depart the country to a safe place if needed.

It is important to know that as time goes on should a crisis escalate suddenly the Embassy’s ability immediately may be limited or impossible. Costs to the citizen, and delays in being able to leave a dangerous situation may consequently increase.
The decision about whether to depart is the responsibility of each citizen based on his/her personal security situation.

In the event circumstances warrant an evacuation, the policy of the U.S. government is generally to help U.S. citizens get to the closest safe haven country.

U.S. assistance is a last recourse once all commercial means of air or vehicle transport out of the country are unavailable.

Transport costs are the responsibility of the citizen even if military or charter transport becomes available.

In the case of U.S. citizen minors, one non-U.S. citizen parent, or legal guardian (eligible to enter the safe haven country or the United States) with a visa may accompany the child.

  • Maintain an adequate supply of food, water and necessary medications in your home.
  • Keep all the family’s passports together with all important papers in one readily available place. (such as birth  certificates, marriage records,  vaccination, insurance and bank records)
  • Keep a supply of cash (both U.S. dollars, Euros and local currency) in a safe place.
  • Institute a plan for household members on what to do in case of an emergency and/or if they are separated from you.  Plan for the possibility that communication lines (e.g. phone, cell phone, email) may be cut and remain inoperable for extended periods.
  • Make accomodations for pets, they are not permitted on flights.
  • Make sure your car is in good working order, keep gas tank full, check oil, coolant, tires and battery.  Make transportation arragnement with friends if you do not own a car.
  • Create a list of items to pack in your suitcase (each evacuee is allowed 1 suitcase and 1 small carry on bag)
  • Have an extra set of passport size pictures for each family member.
  • If we go to evacuation status we would ask you to instruct family and friends to contact a Washington DC call center and not the Embasssy for up to date information. The number will be published when such a center would be set up. Currently all email inquiries should go to the following address: CdIUnrestAmCitInquiry@State.gov
  • Enroll with the U.S. Embassy to ensure you rececive up to date information.

For additional information visit:  www.travel.state.gov

  • Pack luggage with suitable clothing and esssential items.  Remember season changes/weather conditions.
  • Engage children in packing their own backpacks or carry on bags with toys, snacks, games, books, and other comforting items.
  • Make sure carry-on baggage includes the following items:
  • Medications (prescription and over the counter)
  • Medical/dental records, immunization cards
  • Extra glasses and prescriptions
  • School records, report cards, test scores, and current samples of work
  • Current power of attorney
  • Birth certificates, naturalization certificates, marriage certificates
  • Passports with visas to third countries if needed
  • U.S. drivers license, auto insurance policies, auto registrations, and title
  • Personal checks and latest bank statement
  • Credit cards
  • Bill/financial records
  • Safe deposit box keys
  • Address book
  • Travelers checks
  • Inventory of household items
  • Snacks, juice, books

Things to Take Into Consideration

  • In the event of an evacuation, American citizens will most likely be transported either to to a safe neighboring country such as Ghana, Togo, Benin, or Gabon or other country deemed appropriate for evacuees.
  • Each family will have to pay for all fees associated with the evacuation.
  • If the American Citizen is under the age of 16, only one, , non-U.S. citizen guardian is permitted to accompany the minor child. The designated person must be visa-qualified for the safe haven country or already have a visa.  Since evacuation to the United States is not authorized in most cases, no visas to the United States will be issued during an evacuation.
  • Each passenger is allowed one suitcase and one small carry-on bag.
  • Pets are not allowed on evacuation flights.

What can the U.S. Government do to help citizens in countries facing civil strife?

In the event of civil strife, natural disaster, or other occurrence endangering U.S. citizens abroad the U.S. Department of State issues Travel Alerts or Travel Warnings alerting U.S. Citizens to credible, specific potential threats and providing relevant information (please see our prior notices and recent Travel Warning, also located on the U.S. Citizen Services page of our Embassy website.) As a situation becomes more serious, the Embassy may recommend U.S. citizens to leave, and may assist U.S. Citizens to arrange commercial transportation out of the country. If commercial transportation is unavailable, the Embassy may organize charter flights to transport U.S. Citizens out of country, or request aircraft and other assistance from the U.S. military to evacuate U.S. Citizens.

How can I ensure that I receive information from the Embassy?

The most important thing you can do is enroll with the Embassy, if you have not already done so. If you provide an e-mail address, you will also receive messages directly. You can register by creating a secure account on the State Department website that will allow you to inform the State Department about all of your travel. To register, citizens should visit the registration page of our travel information website at Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) are also welcome to provide additional details or make inquiries with the Embassy’s Consular Section at (225) 2249-4002, or by e-mail at: AbjAmcit@state.gov.

Who would pay to evacuate me and my family if a decision is made to evacuate?

If commercial carriers are operating, the Embassy would recommend that you depart on your own and at your own expense. If commercial carriers are not operating, and the U.S. government charters aircraft or requests military assistance, you would be required take full responsibility for payment which may be more than what you would have paid some commercially available rates.

Where would I be evacuated to?

In most cases, the U.S. government would bring U.S. citizens to the nearest safe location, which is generally not the United States. Evacuees will be helped by Embassy staff at that location in making arrangements for onward transportation, if that is desired.

My child is an U.S. citizen but I am not. Could you evacuate me and the rest of my family?

If a child does not have an American parent or legal guardian in-country, the U.S. government would allow one adult with the appropriate visa for the safe haven to travel with the child on an evacuation flight. If there is more than one U.S. citizen child in the same family, only one adult escort would be permitted. Non-U.S. citizen siblings will not be provided evacuation assistance. Non-U.S. citizen escorts are not guaranteed entry into the United States. The non-U.S. citizen escort must also be documentarily qualified to enter the country designated as the safe location.

I’m a U.S. citizen but my spouse and children are not. Could you evacuate all of us?

If a head of household is an American citizen, we will generally be able to provide evacuation assistance to the American’s dependents. This will generally include a non-U.S. citizen spouse and minor children. All dependents must be documentarily qualified to enter the country designated as the safe location. From the safe location, U.S. citizens may make arrangements for onward travel if they wish to return to the United States. However, non-American family members may not be qualified to enter the United States.

Besides transportation, what other assistance would be available from the U.S. government for evacuees?

The U.S. government is not able to provide money for food, lodging or other purposes to evacuees. Once evacuees have arrived in a safe location, they are expected to provide for themselves. U.S. Embassy employees will be available to assist in finding hotels and onward transportation. They may also be able to assist in contacting family and friends and in transferring funds as time and resources allow.

What would I be allowed to bring on the evacuation flight?

Each evacuee would be allowed to bring one suitcase, weighing less than 10 kilos (22 pounds), and one carry on item. Pets will not be allowed on evacuation flights.