By Todd Blackhurst
Accidents happen and emergencies can occur anytime. What should you do? Who do you call? Here’s our recommended list of phone numbers, contacts and information that you should keep on hand. As a foreigner, matters become complicated because of the language barrier. Even if you speak a little mandarin or a lot of mandarin, when the situation becomes emotional, communication can become difficult. You may need a helping hand.
1. Please make sure you have these important phone numbers saved in your cellular phone, in your wallet or purse and on hand in your home. We recommend making a small card to place in your children’s backpack or pocket if something happens to them. Make sure they know about this card and how to use it.
Fire / Ambulance 119
Foreign Affairs Police Office 04-23273875.
(If you are arrested, please call the Foreign Affairs 24 Hour Number at 0922-958-110 to arrange for a translator.)
Foreigner Service Hotline 0800-024-111
Taichung English Hotline: 1999
2. We recommend carrying a separate card along with your driver’s license & ARC that has emergency contact information for your work, a Taiwanese friend and any other family you would like contacted should you become incapacitated. It is a good idea to ask a friend here on the island to be ready to speak for you in this circumstance should the need arise, make contact with your family back home and facilitate communication with medical professionals, police, etc.
3. At your home in a secure place, keep copies of all important documents, including your passport, ARC, credit cards and contact phone numbers for all your financial institutions should your wallet or purse be stolen. Make sure someone trustworthy knows where this information is located and how to get access to it.
4. As well, if you are a US citizen, please read this information from the AIT website about Taiwan’s legal and judicial system. Make sure you are registered with AIT or the proper authorities from your home jurisdiction. They can also help your family and work with local authorities in case of emergency.
5. Be sure you know the location of the nearest emergency room and hospital.
As always, if you need help finding a hospital, doctor or developing an emergency plan for your family. Please contact us.