Emergency Preparedness for U.S. Citizens in the Republic of Korea (2024)

Emergency Preparedness for U.S. Citizens in the Republic of Korea

By U.S. Mission Korea


May 3, 2024

This information is provided to help prepare U.S. citizens and their families in the event of natural disasters, civil emergencies, and other situations that might necessitate an evacuation.
In the event of an actual emergency, please monitor the Embassy’s website and social media accounts linked below for up-to-date instructions specific to the event.
Receive alerts and updates:  What to do during an emergency: Be Prepared for a Crisis: Disclaimer

By U.S. Mission Korea

Receive alerts and updates: 

  • Enroll with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) – U.S. citizens living or traveling in South Korea are encouraged to register with the Embassy through the State Department’s travel enrollment website.  In the event of an emergency, we use the enrollment information to communicate with you.
  • Download the ROK Ministry of the Interior and Safety’s “Emergency Ready” app for smartphones and tablets. The app is free and allows users to receive emergency alerts in English, locate the closest emergency shelter, and quickly make emergency 119 calls.
  • Download the American Forces Network AFN Go app for smart phones. The app is free and will allow anyone in Korea access to all available AFN radio stations in the Pacific Region. During any crises or contingency, listeners can receive  up-to-the-minute information. From your computer, access www.afnpacific.net, click on the AFN Go link, and choose a desired stream from the menu. On a mobile device, download the AFN Go app for iPhone or Android devices.

By U.S. Mission Korea

What to do during an emergency

  • Check our embassy website for updates and information specific to the crisis/situation. Those enrolled in STEP will also receive these updates via email. You can follow us on social media: ​
  • Monitor Korea’s National Disaster and Safety Portal to view disaster alerts and steps to take during a natural disaster or other emergency event.
  • Monitor local radio, television, and other news sources for updates. Follow instructions from local authorities about security and evacuation routes.
  • For natural disasters such as typhoons or tropical storms, monitor the Korean Meteorological Administration website for current weather and environmental conditions. The KMA also operates an English language hotline for weather forecasts. Hours of operation are between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Callers should dial 131, then 9 for foreign languages, followed by 1 for English.
  • Read the latest security information worldwide. U.S. citizens should regularly consult the State Department’s website where current travel advisories can be found. Travelers can also obtain security information by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the Unites States and Canada. Callers from all other countries can dial 1-202-501-4444.  Hours of availability are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

By U.S. Mission Korea

Be Prepared for a Crisis

Have the necessary supplies and plan ready in case you must evacuate or shelter in place. See guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Build a kit:
A basic disaster supplies kit could include the following:

  • Passports, birth certificates, Consular Report of Birth Abroad certificates
  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Prescription medications (at least a five-day supply)

Prepare your pets
Your emergency plan should include the following considerations for your pets:

  • Have an evacuation plan for your pet. Identify a safe place where you can take them beforehand
  • Develop a buddy system and identify a neighbor, friend, or relative who can care for your pet if you are unable to do so
  • Have your pet microchipped
  • Contact your local animal shelter or emergency management office for information specific to your region

Low and no cost preparedness
Simple steps you can take now with little to no cost:

  • Know what kind of disasters and emergencies are common for your location to help you prepare
  • Learn where the nearest designated shelter is located for your neighborhood and watch for additional designated shelter locations as you travel throughout South Korea
  • Learn how to contact police (Tel: 112) and fire (Tel: 119) departments, and how to provide your address in Korean
  • Create a digital record with important household contact and medical information that you can share with others
  • Store important phone numbers in another location besides your phone
  • Store important documents like passports and birth certificates in a place that won’t flood or in a sealed bag and maintain digital copies of these documents, and other important documents, like insurance policies

By U.S. Mission Korea


The information above is general information provided to the Embassy by the relevant local authorities and is subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The U.S. Embassy assumes no liability for inaccuracies in the information above. U.S. citizens wishing to obtain any further or more tailored information must contact the relevant local authority.

Emergency Preparedness for U.S. Citizens in the Republic of Korea (2024)
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