To be prepared for an emergency, please consider doing the following:
- ENROLLMENT WITH S.T.E.P.: Sign up with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step/. This will ensure you will get messages or instructions from the U.S. Embassy or your closest U.S. Consulate in an emergency while you are overseas.
- Bookmark the U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou website (https://bf.usembassy.gov/) so you can check for updates during an emergency or crisis.
- Familiarize yourself with “Safety and Security” information related to Burkina Faso at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/burkina-faso.html
- SOCIAL MEDIA:
|U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou https://bf.usembassy.gov/||https://www.facebook.com/U.S.EmbassyBF/||@usembassyouaga|
- “Follow” the gendarmerie in your city/town in Burkina Faso on Facebook. It’s @gendbf (in French)
- SMS/Text messaging: Email ConsularOuaga@state.gov to sign up to receive text messages. (Note that this does not replace registration in STEP, but is in addition to STEP registration.)
- Keep emergency numbers posted at home and at work / school:
- Police = 17
- Fire = 18
- Medical emergencies: go to http://photos.state.gov/libraries/burkinafaso/563395/conseibocl/
medical%20centers%20in%20ouagadougou.pdf or to http://photos.state.gov/libraries/burkinafaso/563395/conseibocl/bobo%20medical%20facilities.pdf
- ACTION PLAN:
- COMMUNICATION: Figure out how you will communicate with family and friends – those in Burkina Faso and/or in the U.S. or anywhere else – in an emergency, including via phone, email, and/or social media.
- HOW TO STAY SAFE/”SHELTER IN PLACE”: Think about how you would “shelter in place” if instructed to do so, either at home or while at work/school. Generally this means:
- Staying wherever you are located at the time;
- Locking the outside doors;
- Selecting a small, interior room, ideally one with no windows and hopefully where you have food and water available;
- Taking refuge there with friends, family, visitors, and (if applicable) pets.
- Hopefully your “shelter in place” location will have a radio or TV so you can watch the news, assuming you don’t have internet coverage here.
- EVACUATION : Talk to your family about rendezvous points and plans to depart from the city/town you are located in, if you are instructed to do so. Make sure your passports or other travel documents are up-to-date at all times.
DURING AN EMERGENCY OR CRISIS
In case of an emergency or crisis that occurs while you are in Burkina Faso, please take the following steps:
- COMMUNICATING WITH LOVED ONES. Contact your friends and family to let them know where you are and how you are doing.
- GETTING UPDATES/INSTRUCTIONS:
- Check your email or phone for messages if you have enrolled with STEP and for text messaging.
- Check and monitor the following for instructions and updates:
- U.S. Embassy website (https://bf.usembassy.gov/)
- U.S. Embassy social media accounts (see above).
- Note: We will try to send out messages about every 30-45 minutes, at least early on, even if there is no news.
- Social media accounts of local law enforcement (see above).
- Local (Burkinabe) TV, radio, and internet news sources.
- WHAT TO DO/WHERE TO GO
- If you hear instructions to “shelter in place,” see the instructions above under BEFORE AN EMERGENCY. If you are told to evacuate, follow the plans that you have devised with your family and friends.