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Emergency List

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While security is one of CS main concerns, there is always a rest of risk while traveling. The CS-community is willing to help out in many situations but in cases of accidents, crimes or loss of property the options to act are limited.


General Tips

  • Be prepared! Read the Tips for [1] and [2]
  • If necessary contact the local police / ambulance (List of emergency phone numbers worldwide.)
  • If other couchsurfers are involved contact the Member Disputes & Safety Team by morking your question Problem with another member. Tell them as many details as possible about your experience. The MDST will investigate confidentially and determine the best course of action. Always get you out of danger prior to contacting us! For more details about the MDST, please consult their FAQ.
  • If necessary leave a negative reference.
  • If your host doesn´t respond, always keep alternatives in mind. (big cities: (www.hihostels.com f.e.) or other hospitality networks.
  • Check the city's CS wiki page as the local ambassadors might have collected some useful Emergency information.

Emergency List

This is a bullet-point list for you to use as a template in order to create an Emergency List for your locality/city. It is a generally self explanatory list, yet each section has a small guidance note that will help you understand what it is about and what information you are looking to list there.

This Emergency List is envisaged to be used as additional information per city. So it will be made available and accessed through the City Groups, for the time being, while we are working on a more centralized way to access it separately (yet still being linked to the City Groups, via the city CS wiki page, for example).

Some have already implemented such lists for their cities. If you have already done it, it would be great if you could take a minute to update it according to the list format provided below. If there is anything you have already listed that is not here, feel free to keep it and even let us know through the Contact Us page (marking it as Suggestion), as we may have missed something out! You may find sections in this template that may be irrelevant to your city or can't find any information on. In this case, just leave the sections blank or remove them.

To see an example, just have a look at the Manchester Emergency list



If you are really unlucky and manage to land yourself into trouble, here's a list of the local police stations:

(Guidance Note: Provide a link to the local Police Authorities in your area. If you live in a large city, there will be more than one police station in which case it will be hard to provide details from every single one. Find the relevant website that lists the locations and contact numbers for all local police stations within your area/community/city. Then every potential visitor can directly access this information and make note of what is relevant to where they will be staying.)


(Guidance Note: Should a member need to be hospitalized it is always good to be aware of where they can seek assistance. A list of local hospitals can be handy. Easy to list if you are located in a fairly small town, but for large cities, make sure to provide a link to a website that may offer all the hospitals available. It is down to the couchsurfer to seek which one is nearest to where they will be and note the details.)


(Guidance Note: Some countries also offer a freephone helpline with a nurse available to take calls and offer impromptu advice. This may be particular handy for a traveller if they are on the move yet still require some medical advice if they feel poorly. Quick & easy. Investigate whether your country offers such service. It may be worth investigating with the national health system/organization that may operate within your country.)


(Guidance Note: These are part of hospitals who offer medical treatment for minor injuries and illnesses to the public, without needing an appointment. See if there are any in your area and provide information/links about their location. If there is a CouchSurfing Doctor in your area get in touch with them and see if they are happy for you to list their profile link here, so that members may contact them)


(Guidance Note: See if there are any embassies or consulates in your area. Provide links to relevant websites with mention that the capital of your country will usually offer representation of other countries within your countries territory.)


Always make sure you are aware of ways to get to your host's home, but also out of it as well, should you need to.

(Guidance Note: List a few Budget Hostels' & their details/ website links that for ones you refer to within your locality. Also list a website or where one can get information on public transport that is likely to service your area. If one needs to be out their host's house i the middle of the night, it's worth knowing whether public transport is available at all in order for them to get away in. If not, possibly a few taxi service companies may be usefull to list)


(Guidance Note: Most cities will have a designated Rape Unit that exists to solely provide help to rape victims. Take a minute to find if there is such a unit withn your area. If not search for the nearest location to your locality that this can be found.)


(Guidance Note: Some countries have police solely serving the traveling community. They are nuanced in safety issues that travelers tend to face, and may have translators more readily available. Try and see if your area has Tourist Police available (it is understood that not every locality will have this) and if you can find any details, website, etc add it to this section.)


(Guidance Notes: Many cities will also offer a walk-in refuge for members of the public who have suffered domestic violence. These will offer free temporary, safe accommodation for one to use. Thise may be handy if a traveller becomes a victim of domestic violence while couchsurfing. See if there such a refuge in your area and list it here.)


(Guidance Note: Many countries offer a Citizen's Advice Bureau. Thie will offer free advice on pretty much anything. See if your country/city offers such a facility and list it here)


(Guidance note: This may not be available/applicable for all cities/ CS localities, but something to consider. It may require further investigation to dig up any information. If you can find any for your area or even a generic national helpline for your country, then this is the place to list it.)


(Guidance Note: Please put in details of the local Immigration Services, if any, here)


(Guidance Note: Hopefully one should never need it, but see if there is any service that will offer free legal consultation- at least at initial stages. If you have a CouchSurfing Lawyer in your area get in touch with them and see if they are happy for you to list their profile link here, so that members may contact them)


(Guidance Note: Some cities, specially the larger ones will often have an Emergency Couch Group that one can access if they need a last minute couch. You can list a link to that Group here if there is one for your area. Sometimes those groups may be private with any information that is posted in them viewable only to their members as they may contain telephone numbers of hosts. As an Ambassador you will be a member of such a group, even if you chose not to be an active one in terms of offering a last minute couch. So, you need to decide whether and how a CS member who is not member in that group will access it and the information it contains if in emergency. For example you can set the group so that any member can join without permission, but only members can see the information displayed. Or, so that whoever needs an emergency couch can email to a generic email and get an automated response with a bunch of CS's details who are offering an emergency couch. It's up to the group members how they want that group to work).


(Guidance Note: Provide a link to your city's/area's nearest ambassador (if there is none in the city, then at least the one who's nearest is just as good, as a poin tof contact through CS. Any further information you put here is optional and down to you (some Ambasadors chose to make their phonenumber pubillc for members to contact them in case of emergency. If you already list that in your profile, then you could list it here as well. But, remember, you don't *have to*. If you don't offer such information, then this is absolutely understandable. Providing links to the Local Ambassador's profile, in this section, is more than enough).

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