It’s amazing that we’ve managed to
standardise on the width between train rails all around the world, and yet few countries can agree on a standard number
for emergency services. Americans automatically dial 911 while at home, but a crisis abroad is not the best time to
realise you have no idea what the local emergency number is. While 911 will work in Canada, the Dominican Republic and
the Cayman Islands, many countries (particularly in Europe) have standardised on 999 — but Australia uses
000, and many other places have completely different numbers.
This site provides a quick
chart with emergency numbers in countries around the globe so you can look them up before you go. It’s a good idea to
write down critical numbers like this, plus the number for the US consulate and the international dialing code
needed to reach the US from wherever you’re calling. Jot them on a post-it note and stick it to the inside of your
passport, where they should always be in easy and safe reach.