Emergency Message: Hurricane Irma

The National Hurricane Center (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov) reports that Hurricane Irma is a strong, dangerous category 5 storm with high winds and heavy rain. A hurricane watch has been issued for the northern coast of Haiti and a tropical storm watch has been issued for the area from Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-au-Prince. We recommend you avoid all non-essential travel to Haiti. Embassy personnel and their families have been ordered to shelter in place beginning at 1:00am on Thursday, September 7.

The Embassy will have very reduced staffing on Thursday andFriday, providing only emergency services to United States citizens.

Additional information on Hurricane Irma is available ontravel.state.gov and from Haiti Civil Protection’s website andTwitter (in Creole).

U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Haiti should be alert to flooding. Given the approaching hurricane, there is limited time available for a safe departure via air. The State Department has authorized non-emergency personnel and family members to depart Haiti in advance of the storm. We recommend U.S. citizens depart Haiti prior to the arrival of the hurricane. Airports are expected to close if conditions deteriorate.  The Embassy has banned all personnel travel north of Port-au-Prince and has cancelled the travel plans of all incoming employees until the threat passes.

Citizens unable to depart should shelter in a secure location. U.S. citizens should apprise family and friends in the United States of their whereabouts, and keep in close contact with their tour operator, hotel staff, and local officials for any evacuation instructions. U.S. citizens considering coming to Haiti  to help with post-hurricane recovery efforts should be aware that such activities will be extremely difficult to carry out without secure lodging plans in place, an independent power source, supplies of food, water, and fuel, off-road transportation vehicle, and Creole language ability.

For immigrant or nonimmigrant visa questions, please contact the call center at 509-2812-2929 or email support-Haiti@ustraveldocs.com. To reschedule an American Citizen Services (ACS) appointment, please send us an email at acspap@state.gov. For emergencies involving U.S. citizens in Haiti, please call 509-2229-8000.

Additional information on hurricanes and storm preparedness may be found on our “Hurricane Season-Know Before You Go” webpage, and on the “Natural Disasters” page of the Bureau of Consular Affairs website. Updated information on travel in the Haiti may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada, or from overseas, 1-202-501-4444.These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Mondaythrough Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

We strongly recommend that all U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Haiti enroll in the Department of State’s secure online Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency.

Travelers are advised to regularly monitor the travel information page of the State Department’s website where you can find the current travel warnings for Haiti, travel alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Haiti. For additional information, refer to “Travelers Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Visit the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince website, or contact the Embassy for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook. For all emergencies involving U.S. citizens, contact the American Citizen Services unit of the U.S. Embassy’s consular section, located at Tabarre 41, Boulevard du 15 Octobre, Tabarre, Haiti; telephone (dialing from the United States) 011-509-2229-8000acspap@state.gov.