Emergencies abroad: calling for help in the mountains

Posted by Tony Ryan on 13/06/2013
Research arrangements for mountain rescue in the area you are visiting.

Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. When travelling abroad, it can pay to ensure in advance that you know how to summon emergency assistance.

Before you go
Before you put the cat out and lock the front door, it’s a good idea to:

  • Research arrangements for Mountain Rescue in the area you are visiting. Depending on where you are travelling to, this may be provided by specialist mountain rescue teams, park rangers or the military. Make sure you have the correct phone number with you at all times.
  • Have a current European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), if you are visiting a European Economic Area (EEA) country. If you use your EHIC to reduce the cost of a medical claim on your BMC Insurance policy, the excess (£100) will be waived.
  • Make sure your travel insurance policy provides appropriate cover for your planned activities and the potential costs of search and rescue and medical treatment in your destination country. Why choose BMC Insurance?
  • Leave a copy of your insurance policy details and your itinerary with a friend or relative in case they need to assist on your behalf.

Whilst away
If the worst does happen, you need to contact the right people so that help reaches you as quickly as possible. In Europe, the international emergency number 112 will work in most cases. Many countries outside Europe also have a single emergency telephone number. In some countries, such as France, it may be useful to know the numbers of local Mountain Rescue organisations too. 

About 112

International Emergency Telephone Numbers

If you need medical treatment when you are abroad, you should call the insurer’s 24-hour helpline as soon as you arrive at the hospital, so that the insurer can take over responsibility for case management.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
The FCO website contains the latest travel advice for over 200 countries. You can also email the FCO for advice: TravelAdvicePublicEnquiries@fco.gov.uk



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