UNCLASSIFIED (U)

7 FAM 000 Appendix A

CONSULAR INFORMATION PROGRAM

(CT:CON-874;   04-10-2019)
(Office of Origin:  CA/OCS)

7 FAM 010 APPENDIX A  SUMMARY AND AUTHORITIES

7 FAM 011 Appendix A  What is the Consular Information Program?

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. One of the U.S. Department of State's highest priorities is to protect the safety and security of U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad.

b. The Consular Information Program (CIP) is a public outreach program through which the Department of State, through the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA), and U.S. embassies and consulates, inform U.S. citizens and nationals of potential threats to their health or safety abroad and provide information about consular services. 

(1)  The CIP includes all public consular information disseminated by the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) and U.S. embassies and consulates to inform U.S. citizens.  The CIP provides centralized coordination and management of information products, dissemination methods, and clearance processes.  CIP products include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a)  Travel Advisories;

(b)  Country Information:  International Travel, Adoption, and Abduction;

(c)  General Information:  Special events, weather events, health issues, and local holidays;

(d)  Worldwide Cautions;

(e)  Alerts;

(f)   Routine Information:  Town hall meeting notices, voting information, federal benefits, and information about U.S. citizens' legal obligations (taxes, selective service registration).

(2)  Sub-sections below provide detailed information on drafting, clearing and disseminating specific types of CIP products. 

c.  All information provided to the public through the CIP represents the Department's objective assessment of conditions in a given country based on reliable information available at the time of publishing, as reported by posts, various Department bureaus, other U.S. government agencies and departments, foreign governments, and credible open sources.

d. Information provided through the CIP, including Travel Advisories and Alerts for U.S. citizens, is based on the overall assessment of the situation in country.  By necessity, this analysis is undertaken without regard to political or economic considerations.  See 7 FAM 014 Appendix A Working With the Host Government.

7 FAM 012 Appendix A  Authorities

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. The Department's Consular Information Program is not mandated by statute, but relevant U.S. laws include those codified at: 

(1) 22 U.S.C. 2651a (Organization of the Department of State);

(2)  22 U.S.C. 2656 (Management of foreign affairs);

(3)  22 U.S.C. 2656e (Terrorism-related travel advisories);

(4)  22 U.S.C. 2615 (Procedures regarding major disasters and incidents abroad affecting United States citizens);

(6)  22 U.S.C. 4802 (Responsibility of Secretary of State);

(6)  22 U.S.C. 1731 (Protection to Naturalized Citizens Abroad);

(7)  22 U.S.C. 9227 (Travel recommendations for United States citizens to North Korea); and

(8)  49 U.S.C. 44905 (Information about threats to civil aviation)

b. Additional relevant authorities include:

(1)  Department Delegation of Authority 78, from the Secretary to the (now) Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs (technical direction for the consular program of the Foreign Service, including protection and welfare of American citizens and interests);

(2)  22 CFR 71.1 (Protection of Americans abroad);

(3)  22 CFR 71.6 (Services to distressed Americans); and

(4)  Executive Order 12656 (Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities)

c.  In June 2003, the Department's report to Congress on actions taken in response to the Amman, Jordan Accountability Review Board (ARB) undertook to review Consular Information Program documents “to ensure there are no political statements" and that documents "reiterate personal security safeguards and the need to be vigilant"; The report provided that "the Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs will be authorized to determine the final wording of the Consular Information Program documents.”

7 FAM 013 Appendix A  Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. The Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs has overall responsibility for the Consular Information Program (CIP), to include supervising and managing the program, and is authorized to determine the final wording of all products. 

b. The Department expects all posts, regional bureaus, and appropriate functional bureaus to cooperate fully in and with the CIP.

c.  Within the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services (CA/OCS) has primary responsibility for the CIP.  (1 FAM 255c.)

d. Roles of DS, CT, MED, INR, EB, T, OES, DRL:  The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT), Bureau of Medical Services (MED), Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB), Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security (T), Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), and Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) should inform CA/OCS of conditions that may warrant inclusion on an International Travel Country Information page or that may necessitate a Travel Advisory change, Alert, or new web page.

e. Role of Posts:  To ensure that the Department and posts avoid providing contradictory information to U.S. citizens and nationals, post must coordinate with the Department on public dissemination of information.  The consular section, the Regional Security Officer (RSO), other U.S. government sources, and at times Public Affairs Section (PAS), must establish and adhere to standard operating procedures that ensure close coordination on disseminating information to the official and private U.S. citizen communities.  Post need not send notices to the official and private communities at the same time.  However, once a post distributes a security notice to the official community that might that might trigger a security alert to the private community in accordance with the No Double Standard policy, post should endeavor to clear and distribute as quickly as possible.  See 7 FAM 050 for further details about the No Double Standard policy.

f.  Roles of Other U.S. Government Agencies:  Other U.S. government agencies may also contribute information about conditions that CA may consider for inclusion in consular products.  For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have contributed to CIP documents related to certain health hazards. 

g. Travel Advisory Review Committee (TARC):  The Travel Advisory Review Committee (TARC) reviews the need for a change in the advice level(s) for a country due to threat information provided by Diplomatic Security or others.  When security information comes to light, the TARC uses decision point criteria to decide if a country’s Travel Advisory should be adjusted.   Intra-Department disputes will be raised within the TARC and will be resolved to the extent possible through consensus, with the Under Secretary for Management (M) being the final arbiter.  The TARC is chaired by CA and standing committee members will include representatives from:

·         Bureau of Diplomatic Security, (DS/TIA/ITA);

·         Post’s regional bureau;

·         The Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs;

·         The Office of the Under Secretary for Management;

·         Representatives from other bureaus as appropriate based on the threat, to include:

·         Coordinator for Counter Terrorism (CT), when the threat is terrorism related;

·         Medical Services, when the threat is health related;

·         Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB/TRA/OP), if there are aviation issues;

·         Legal offices (OCS/L/CA), when there are legal issues;

·         The Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security (T), when there is a nuclear issue;

·         Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), when the threat is environmental; and

·         Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), if threat presents human rights concerns, such as LGBTI issues.

7 FAM 014 Appendix A  Working With the Host Government

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Consular safety and security products are not indicative of our bilateral relations with a country.  They are part of our commitment to protect U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad. 

b. Consular safety and security information products are apolitical.  The analysis of safety and security risks to U.S. citizens must be undertaken without regard to political or economic considerations.   Host country officials occasionally express concern, dismay, or resentment about the U.S. government’s public dissemination of CIP materials, including information regarding their country's safety and security issues.  Consular officers may explain that the Department has no higher responsibility than the safety and security of U.S. citizens, and that we share information to assist U.S. citizens to make informed decisions about their own safety and actions within the country. 

c.  In certain situations, but only with prior permission from the Managing Director of CA/OCS, Department employees may inform the host government about the imminent release of a CIP product, which is never subject to negotiation with or censoring by a foreign government.

d. As the decision to issue a CIP product and how to convey information is undertaken without regard to political or economic considerations, posts must not allow extraneous concerns to color the decision of whether to issue information products nor how information is to be presented.

7 FAM 020 appendix A  NO DOUBLE STANDARD POLICY AND THE CONSULAR INFORMATION PROGRAM

 (CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

See 7 FAM 050 for guidance about the No Double Standard Policy.  For questions about the No Double Standard policy, contact CA/OCS/L through ASK-OCS-L@state.gov.

7 FAM 030 Appendix A  DRAFTING AND DISSEMINATING CONSULAR INFORMATION PRODUCTS

7 FAM 031 Appendix A  CA Style Guide

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Drafters should follow all Department and CA guidance when drafting or editing documents, including the use of plain language.  See the CA style guide for guidance on plain language.  Drafters are to follow these guidelines:  

(1)  Write with audience in mind.  Make concise, clear points in short sentences; paragraphs should be no longer than four sentences.

(2)  Use “you” (second person voice) to address readers directly, rather than “U.S. citizens” or “people” (third person voice) when possible.  Likewise, use “we” (first person voice) rather than “the Department of State” or “the Embassy/Consulate.”

(3)  Determine what information is vital, and keep that information at the top of the page.  Use bold text to emphasize key points; do not underline text or use italics.  Cut extraneous information.  Link directly to other U.S. government agencies' websites, such as the CDC, instead of summarizing information from other sources.

(4)  Use bullets to break up text and display lists in a more user-friendly format.

7 FAM 032 Appendix A  Dissemination of Consular Information Products

(CT:CON-866;   01-22-2019)

Travel Advisories, Country Information, Worldwide Cautions, General Information, Alerts, and Routine Messages are disseminated widely both abroad and in the United States.  Methods of distribution include the following:

a. CA internet website: travel.state.gov (TSG)

(1) The CA/OCS/Outreach and Training team (CA/OCS/OT) maintains the website pages on OCS topics.  Inquiries and content update requests can be sent to OCSContentManager@State.Gov.  Officers requiring after-hours TSG content updates should call the OCS duty officer.

(2) Banners: CA/OCS can leverage the Emergency Alert Banner function on TSG, allowing the team to post low, medium, and high priority information across any or all pages on TSG.

b. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP): Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a digital service through which U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad can enroll to receive Alerts, routine messages, and Travel Advisories for the countries they select.  STEP also helps posts to locate citizens in an emergency.  STEP is maintained by CA/CST and managed by CA/OCS.  See 7 FAM 040.

c.  MASCOT: The Message Alert System for Citizens Overseas Tool (MASCOT) is an application that allows consular staff to send Alerts, routine messages, and Travel Advisories to U.S. citizen travelers who enrolled a trip in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) or within a particular consular district. 

(1)  Overseas and domestic consular staff can disseminate messages through MASCOT by accessing it through the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD). 

(2)  MASCOT's key features include: Pulling email addresses of active registrants automatically, allowing posts or CA/OCS to send messages on behalf of other posts, creation of custom templates, creating custom distribution lists for specific warden zones, and tracking the delivery of messaging.

d. Post website: Embassy websites are hosted by the Office of International Programs (IIP) and managed at each post by the Public Affairs Section.  These websites are a primary source of information for U.S. citizens in the country.

e. Social Media: Social media is a valuable tool for routine, safety, and crisis messaging.  Each post manages its own social media platforms, and CA/P manages the CA Bureau social media platforms.  CA/P offers support for post social media crisis communications.

(1)  Post Social Media: The post Public Affairs Section manages social media accounts. In consultation with the Public Affairs Section, the Consular Section may post safety and security messaging as well as a variety of routine messaging.  Post should share cleared Alerts on social media within one hour of dissemination of the Alert via MASCOT.  Posts should either re-post @TravelGov's Travel Advisories for their respective country and Worldwide Caution social media posts, or create new posts when these products are published. 

(2)  CA/P's Digital Engagement Team can amplify messaging from the Bureau's social media accounts. 

f.  Electronic Notice Distribution: CA uses an electronic mail delivery system that allows emails to be sent to lists of subscribed users.  This delivery method is intended for non-urgent messages targeted to users with a particular interest in a topic.

g. Text and Short Messaging Services (SMS): SMS refers to the use of third-party vendors (telecommunication companies) to distribute text/SMS messages when other means, such as MASCOT, are not available.  When possible, posts should use CA’s systems, with social media amplification, as the primary means to disseminate Alerts to U.S. citizens.  Alternative methods, such as SMS text messaging, should only be used when CA’s systems are not a reliable or effective.  Consult with CA/OCS/ACS.  NOTE: Before any non-Department-owned application may be used to send messages regarding consular cases involving personally identifiable information (PII), including Privacy Act protected information, Department approval is required. Contact your country officer in CA/OCS/ACS for assistance.

h. In-Person Outreach: In-person outreach involves a CA subject matter expert engaging with the public or Congress to convey consular messages in a speaking event, via face-to-face, video, webinar, or audio contact.  Examples of in-person outreach include a formal presentation, travel show event, video webinar, or conference call. 

i.  Consular Warden System: An established consular warden system provides a way to reach U.S. citizens in the event of an emergency, disaster, or threat, and to distribute information of interest to the private U.S. citizen community.  Wardens help amplify messaging published by post including Alerts, routine messages, and Travel Advisories.

j.  Consular Affairs Call Centers: CA maintains public call centers to provide U.S citizens with information.

k. Locally-Developed IT Solutions: Consular staff at many overseas posts and domestic offices may use Information Technology (IT) approaches to help manage growing workloads and address shortcomings of legacy consular applications.  CA’s Technology Innovation Policy (CTIP) governs all locally-developed information technology solutions that access CA systems or use information derived from CA systems.  Consult with Consular Systems and Technology (CA/CST) on locally-developed IT solutions. 

l.  OSAC Website: Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) maintains public websites with crime and safety information through the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

7 FAM 040 Appendix A  Safety and Security INformation Produced by CA/OCS

7 FAM 041 Appendix A  Travel Advisory

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Travel Advisories are issued for each country based on country-specific risk indicators.  The Travel Advisories provide levels of advice and are written in concise, easy-to-understand, plain language.  They contain actionable advice for U.S. citizens.

b. Travel Advisory levels can change in advance of or in response to temporary events, such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and political events.  All advisories must follow a worldwide standard format that enables the clearance process to work efficiently and allows U.S. citizens to access and understand it effectively. 

7 FAM 042 Appendix A  Travel Advisory Definition

(CT:CON-874;   04-10-2019)

a. Travel Advisories contain specific advice for U.S. citizens considering travel to a country.  The four levels of standard advice offered U.S. citizens in Travel Advisories are:

(1)  Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions:  This is the lowest advisory level.  Conditions in country may differ from those in the United States.  Conditions in any country may change at any time.

(2)  Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution:  Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security.  The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas.  Conditions in any country may change at any time.

(3)  Level 3 – Reconsider Travel:  Travel only when absolutely necessary due to serious risks to safety and security.  The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas.  Conditions in any country may change at any time.

(4)  Level 4 – Do Not Travel:  This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks.  During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance.  The Department of State advises U.S. citizens not to travel to these areas, or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.  The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory.  Conditions in any country may change at any time.

b. Travel Advisories at Level 2-4 will show which risk indicators apply and provide more detail about security concerns in the specific country, such as:

(1)  E – Time-limited Event:  Short-term events, such as elections, sporting events, or other incidents which may pose risks.

(2)  C – Crime:  Widespread violent crime and/or organized crime are present in country.  Local law enforcement may have limited ability to respond to serious crimes.

(3)  T – Terrorism:  Terrorist attacks have occurred and/or specific threats against civilians, groups, or other targets may exist.

(4)  U – Civil Unrest:  Political, economic, religious, and/or ethnic instability exists and may cause violence, major disruptions and/or safety risks.

(5)  N – Natural Disaster:  A natural disaster, or its aftermath, poses danger. 

(6)  H – Health:  Health risks, including current disease outbreaks or a crisis that temporarily disrupts a country’s medical infrastructure, are present.  The issuance of a CDC Travel Notice may also be a factor.

(7)  K - Kidnapping or Hostage Taking:  Criminal or terrorist individuals or groups have threatened to and/or have seized or detained and threatened to kill, injure or continue to detain individuals in order to compel a third party (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing something as a condition of release.

(8)  O – Other:  There are potential risks not covered by previous Risk Indicators.  Read individual Travel Advisories for specific details.

7 FAM 043 Appendix A  Travel Advisory Roles and Responsibilities

 (CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Lead office:  CA/OCS is charged with ensuring the timeliness and accuracy of each Travel Advisory.  The Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (CA/OCS/ACS) country officers are responsible for drafting Travel Advisories and clearing them with posts, regional bureaus, Diplomatic Security, and others as necessary. 

b. Timing:  CA/OCS/ACS reviews the need for a change in Travel Advisory level when information comes to its attention that may impact the safety and security of U.S. citizens in that country.  At minimum, Level 1 and Level 2 Travel Advisories are to be reviewed every 12 months.  Level 3 and Level 4 Travel Advisories are to be reviewed every 6 months.  

7 FAM 044 Appendix A  Travel Advisory Procedures

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Determining Travel Advisory Levels of Advice: Travel Advisory levels are determined by assessing the country’s safety and security situation, as it affects U.S. citizens.  The assessment includes reliable threat information gathered from multiple sources, as reported by posts, various Department bureaus, other U.S. government agencies and departments, foreign governments, and credible open sources.  Decisions regarding U.S. government personnel are taken into account, for example:

(1)  Whether personnel receive danger and/or hardship pay (when the latter is related to safety or security considerations);

(2)  The operating status of the mission (12 FAH-1 H-743.1; 12 FAH-1 H-743.6) (Travel Advisories must be at level 3 or 4 when posts are on authorized or ordered departure);

(3)  Limits and security restrictions on personnel, Eligible Family Members (EFMs), and Members of Household (MOH);

(4)  Other decisions made to protect personnel based on the security environment; and  

(5)  If non-essential official travel has been deferred based on safety and security concerns.

Information on U.S. personnel restrictions due to safety and security issues must be reported through consular information products (Travel Advisories and/or Alerts.)  See 7 FAM 050 for further information about No Double Standard Policy.

b. Travel Advisory Template:  The Travel Advisory format and language are based on a worldwide template so that U.S. citizens can easily understand and compare them. 

(1)  In order to maintain that worldwide standard, templated language may not be edited in the clearance process.  See 7 FAM 046.1 Appendix A Exhibit Travel Advisory Template.

(2)  Level 2, 3, and 4 Travel Advisories must display at least one of the following risk indicators that is the reason for the level of advice.  The selected reason will appear as a single-letter risk indicator (C, T, U, H, N, E, O) on the Travel Advisory and be spelled out in the text. (See 7 FAM 046.1 Appendix A Exhibit Travel Advisory Template.) 

(a)  Crime;

(b)  Terrorism;

(c)  Civil Unrest;

(d)  Health;

(e)  Natural Disaster;

(f)   Time-limited event (examples: elections, large event); and

(g)  Other (examples:  arbitrary detention of U.S. citizens, armed conflict, landmines).

(3)  Level 2, 3, and 4 Travel Advisories must contain text explaining the relevant safety and security information.

(4)  Travel Advisory Review Committee (TARC): The Travel Advisory Review Committee (TARC) brings Department stakeholders together to discuss security information and how it is relayed via Travel Advisories.  The TARC is chaired by CA/OCS.  (See 7 FAM 013 Appendix A

7 FAM 045 Appendix A  Travel Advisory Clearing Offices

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. CA/OCS/ACS clears Level 1 and 2 Travel Advisories with the following offices/bureaus:

(1)  CA/OCS;

(2)  Diplomatic Security (DS/IP/ITA);

(3)  Regional bureau;

(4)  CA/P;

(5)  Bureau of Public Affairs (PA); and

(6)  Other bureaus/offices as appropriate, to include:

(a)  Coordinator for Counter Terrorism (CT), if the threat is terrorism related;

(b)  Medical Services, if the threat is health related;

(c)  Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB/TRA/OP), if there are aviation issues;

(d)  The Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security (T), if there is a nuclear issue;

(e)  Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), if the threat is environmental;

(f)   Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), if there are human rights concerns, such as LGBTI issue;

(g)  Office of the Legal Adviser (through OCS/L), if there may be legal issues implicating U.S. or international law, including but not limited to circumstances involving a Geographic Travel Restriction on use of a U.S. passport, warnings of arbitrary detentions of U.S. citizens, or existence/issuance of an FAA NOTAM.  

b. CA/OCS/ACS clears Level 3 and 4 Travel Advisories with the following offices:

(1)  CA/OCS;

(2)  Regional bureau;

(3)  Diplomatic Security (DS);

(4)  CA/P;

(5)  Bureau of Public Affairs (PA);

(6)  M Staff;

(7)  M/PRI;

(8)  D Staff;

(9)  P Staff;

(10) S/P Policy and Planning; and

(11) S/ES-O/CMS;

(12) Other bureaus/offices as needed, to include:

(a)  Coordinator for Counter Terrorism (CT), if the threat is terrorism related;

(b)  Medical Services, if the threat is health related;

(c)  Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB/TRA/OP), if there are aviation issues;

(d)  The Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security (T), if there is a nuclear issue;

(e)  Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), if the threat is environmental;

(f)   Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), if there are human rights concerns, such as LGBTI issue; and

(g)  Office of the Legal Adviser (through OCS/L), if there may be legal issues implicating U.S. or international law, including but not limited to circumstances involving a Geographic Travel Restriction on use of a U.S. passport, warnings of arbitrary detentions of U.S. citizens, or existence/issuance of an FAA NOTAM.  

7 FAM 046 Appendix A  Travel Advisory Dissemination

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

For more information on dissemination procedures, please see 7 FAM 032 Appendix A.

a. Required Dissemination by CA/OCS

(1)  Travel.state.gov International Travel country information page;

(2)  Travel.state.gov Travel Advisory page;

(3)  STEP notification;

(4)  CA/OCS/ACS country officer sends the final Travel Advisory to ca-traveladvisory@state.gov, DS, regional desk, and other relevant stakeholders; and

(5)  Media note when a Travel Advisory changes to a level 3 or 4 or is reaffirmed at a level 3 or 4 following the 6-month review.

b. Optional Dissemination:

(1)  Media note when a Travel Advisory changes to a level 1 or 2 or is reaffirmed at a level 1 or 2 following the 12-month review; and

(2)  CA social media when a Travel Advisory changes or remains at a current level following a review.

c.  Required Dissemination by post: 

(1) Send as an Alert via MASCOT; and

(2) Publish on post's website.

d. Optional dissemination by post:  Posts may publish Travel Advisories on their official social media accounts.


 

7 FAM 046.1 Appendix A  Travel Advisory Template

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Title: Travel Advisory Template - Description: Travel Advisory Template

7 FAM 046.2 APPENDIX A  INTERNATIONAL COUNTRY INFORMATION

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. International country information web pages serve as a key resource to provide safety and security information for U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad.

b. The information is intended to assist U.S. citizens in making informed decisions about travel to or movement within a particular country.

7 FAM 046.3 Appendix A  International Country Information Definition

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. CA/OCS produces and posts information for every country in the world on travel.state.gov.  These pages include, but are not limited to:

(1)  Contact information for the U.S. embassy and consulate(s), or protecting power information, as applicable;

(2)  Entry and exit requirements and customs information;

(3)  Crime and safety information; and

(4) Transportation safety information.

b. The page will also display the current Travel Advisory for the country and recent Alerts.

7 FAM 046.4 Appendix A  International Country Information Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Lead office: CA/OCS/ACS is charged with ensuring the timeliness and accuracy of each international travel country information page. ACS country officers draft country information by drawing on insights from ACS, regional and functional bureaus, and posts.  CA/OCS/ACS country officers also consult with subject matter experts on specific topics, for example, EB for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assessments, Office of Medical Services (MED) and CDC for health assessments, and DS and CT for security and terrorism related information.

b. Timing: CA/OCS/ACS reviews the international travel country information at least annually.  ACS updates pages when information comes to its attention that may impact the safety and security of U.S. citizens in a given country.

7 FAM 046.5 Appendix A  International Country Information Procedures

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Both CA/OCS/ACS and post analyze facts and conditions that regularly impact U.S. citizens abroad to ensure inclusion of relevant information.  For example:

(1)  Has there been an increase or change in crime against U.S. citizens or generally?

(2)  Have immigration requirements changed?

(3)  Is there a new law in the host country that U.S. citizens should know about?

b. Posts should consult with CA/OCS/ACS country officers to update international country information.

7 FAM 046.6 Appendix A  International Country Information Clearing Offices

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. CA/OCS/ACS clears country information with the following offices:

(1)  CA/OCS;

(2)  Regional bureau;

(3)  Post;

(4)  Bureau of Public Affairs (PA);

(5)  Diplomatic Security (DS/TIA/ITA);

(6)  Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB/TRA/OP); and

(7)  CA/P.

b. As appropriate, other offices may request or be asked to clear, such as:

(1)  Office of Medical Services (MED);

(2)  Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) (required if LGBTI language is other than the standard text);

(3)  Office of the Legal Adviser (L);

(4)  Bureau of Legislative Affairs (H); and

(5)  Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT) (required if terrorist groups/incidents are mentioned).

7 FAM 046.7 Appendix A  International Country Information Dissemination

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

For more information on dissemination procedures, please see 7 FAM 032 Appendix A.

(1)  Required Dissemination by CA/OCS:  Post to TSG;

(2)  Required Dissemination by CA/P:  None Required;

(3)  Required Dissemination by post:  None Required;

(4)  Optional dissemination by CA/OCS:  If a significant change is made, CA/OCS may send a STEP notification; and

(5)  Optional dissemination by post:  If a significant change is made, post may update the embassy website, disseminate through social media and/or send an Alert or routine message, as appropriate, via MASCOT.

7 FAM 047 APPENDIX A  Worldwide Caution (WWC)

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

As part of CA's continuous efforts to provide U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad with information about safety and security events, we produce the Worldwide Caution (WWC) with information on universal travel risks including the threat of terrorist action against U.S. citizens and interests abroad.

7 FAM 047.1 Appendix A  Worldwide Caution Definition

(CT:CON-851;   09-21-2018)

The WWC reminds U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance and to bolster their personal security while overseas.  It also informs U.S. citizens of ongoing, global, security concerns, including the continual threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and U.S. citizen interests overseas.  Current information is available on the Worldwide Caution Web Page.

7 FAM 047.2 Appendix A  Worldwide Caution Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Lead Office: CA/OCS/ACS drafts the WWC to include universal risk information applicable to all U.S. citizen travelers.  It is not necessary to include specific country or regional risks, as those are included in each country's Travel Advisory.

b. Timing: The WWC is updated at least annually to ensure current safety and security information is available to the U.S. citizen public.

c.  CA/OCS/ACS, in consultation with relevant bureaus and offices, analyzes patterns in problems confronted by U.S. citizens abroad on a regular basis to ensure inclusion of relevant information.  For example:  Has there been a global increase in terrorism against U.S. citizens?

7 FAM 047.3 Appendix A  Worldwide Caution Clearance Procedures

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. CA/OCS/ACS clears the Worldwide Caution with the following offices:

(1)  CA/OCS;

(2)  CA/P;

(3)  Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS);

(4)  Bureau of Counter-Terrorism (CT);

(5)  Regional bureaus (EUR, EAP, WHA, AF, NEA, SCA);

(6)  Under Secretary for Management (M);

(7)  Under Secretary for Political Affairs (P);

(8)  Bureau of Public Affairs (PA);

(9)  Deputy Secretary of State (D);

(10) Policy and Planning (S/P); and

(11) Crisis Management and Strategy (CMS).

b. As appropriate, other offices may request or be asked to clear, such as:

(1)  Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB);

(2)  Office of Medical Services (MED);

(3)  Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL);

(4)  Office of the Legal Adviser (L); and

(5)  Bureau of Legislative Affairs (H).

7 FAM 047.4 Appendix A  Worldwide Caution Dissemination

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

For more information on dissemination procedures, please see 7 FAM032  Appendix A.

a. Required Dissemination by CA/OCS: 

(1)  Post to TSG; and

(2)  Send via STEP notification.

b. Required Dissemination by CA/P: 

(1)  Media Note for dissemination from the Department; and

(2)  Posting on CA social media accounts.

c.  Required Dissemination by post:  None required;

d. Optional dissemination: 

(1)  Post to official social media accounts; and

(2)  Post on post's webpage.

7 FAM 050 APPENDIX A  OTHER SAFETY AND SECURITY INFORMATION

7 FAM 051 Appendix A  Crisis Information

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

In a crisis, CA/OCS provides crisis-specific information on travel.state.gov to assist U.S. citizens affected by the event and their loved ones, and to direct them to the most efficient methods of communicating with Washington and post.

7 FAM 052 Appendix A  Crisis Information Definition

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018) 

The CA crisis-specific web page includes information relevant to the event including:

(1)  Location of event;

(2)  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs);

(3)  Links to STEP enrollment; and

(4)  Emergency contact information.

7 FAM 053 Appendix A  Crisis Information Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018) 

a. Lead Office: The Consular Crisis Management Office (CA/OCS/CCM) provides a template and CA/OCS/ACS or designated Consular personnel on the State and/or Consular Task Force, if convened, drafts the content for the crisis-specific information page.  CA/OCS is responsible for ensuring the crisis-specific information page is activated as quickly as possible at the onset of a crisis.

b. Timing: CA/OCS/CCM monitors, reviews, and ensures the crisis-specific page content stays current and relevant to the public throughout the crisis.  CA/OCS removes the page when it is no longer necessary.

7 FAM 054 Appendix A  Crisis Information Procedures

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

CA/OCS considers the following factors when activating a crisis-specific page on TSG:

(1)  A drawdown of post (Authorized or Ordered Departure);

(2)  A U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of private U.S. citizens;

(3)  Activation of a State or Consular Task Force;

(4)  Availability of commercial transportation options (land, sea, air);

(5)  Status of telecommunications (landline, internet, cell/mobile lines);

(6)  Border closures;

(7)  Number of U.S. citizens in the crisis location; and

(8)  Volume of calls seeking crisis-specific information and welfare/whereabouts assistance to the OCS Contact Center; CA/OCS/ACS and/or the CA/OCS Duty Officer; volume of calls to post; volume, profile, and tenor of press, social media, and/or Congressional inquiries; and volume of visa and/or passport inquiries.

7 FAM 055 Appendix A  Crisis Information Clearing Offices

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018) 

a. CA/OCS or designated Consular Task Force Representative clears the crisis information page with the following offices:

(1)  CA/OCS;

(2)  Regional bureau; and

(3)  CA/P.

b. As necessary, other offices may clear, such as:

(1)  Bureau of Public Affairs (PA);

(2)  Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB);

(3)  Office of Medical Services (MED);

(4)  Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL);

(5)  Office of the Legal Adviser (L);

(6)  Bureau of Legislative Affairs (H);

(7)  Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT); and

(8)  Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS).

7 FAM 056 Appendix A  Crisis Information Dissemination

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018) 

a. For more information on dissemination procedures, please see 7 FAM 032  Appendix A.

b. Required Dissemination by CA/OCS:  Post to TSG.

c.  Required Dissemination by CA/P:

(1)  CA social media; and

(2)  Coordinate with PA on broader messaging.

d. Required Dissemination by post: 

(1)  Send an Alert via MASCOT; and

(2)  Publish on post website.

e. Optional dissemination:

(1)  Emergency Banner on TSG;

(2)  Post social media; and

(3)  Post should include link to the travel.state.gov crisis page when disseminating related Alerts.

7 FAM 057 Appendix A  Health Information

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Safeguarding the health of U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad is one of the Department's highest priorities.  CA/OCS will include medical and health information through consular information products depending upon its urgency and lifespan.

7 FAM 057.1 Appendix A  Health Information Definition

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018) 

When health concerns rise to the level of significant threat to U.S. citizens, CA/OCS publishes a web page describing the health-related threat and resources.  Examples include:

·         Ebola Virus information page

·         Avian Influenza Z (H5N1) and Pandemic Influenza information page

·         Responding to Radiological and Nuclear Incidents information page

7 FAM 057.2 Appendix A  Health Information Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Lead Office: CA/OCS/ACS will work with the Department of State Office of Medical Services (MED), Regional Medical Officers (RMO) at post, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other offices as appropriate to draft and release global health information pages. 

b. Timing: CA/OCS/ACS monitors, reviews, and updates the health information pages to ensure the pages contain the most up-to-date information and resources. Health information pages are reviewed annually or as needed. 

c.  Removal: In coordination with MED and CDC, the global health information page should be updated to reflect that the health concern is over, and subsequently removed from travel.state.gov when the demand for information abates.  

7 FAM 057.3 Appendix A  Health Information Procedures

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. CA/OCS/ACS will coordinate with relevant posts, Department bureaus, U.S. government partners, foreign governments, and non-governmental organizations as necessary.

b. When possible refer and link directly to official sources and subject matter experts for current and accurate information.

7 FAM 057.4 Appendix A  Health Information Clearing Offices

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. CA/OCS/ACS must clear the health information page(s) with the following offices:

(1)  CA/OCS;

(2)  CA/P;

(3)  Office of Medical Services (MED); and

(4)  Post.

b. Other clearances as appropriate, such as

(1)  Bureau of Oceans and Environmental Science;

(2)  International Health and Bio-Defense (OES/IHB);

(3)  Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN), in the case of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) event;

(4)  Regional bureau(s);

(5)  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and

(6)  U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

7 FAM 057.5 Appendix A  Health Information Dissemination

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. For more information on dissemination procedures, please see section 7 FAM 032  Appendix A.

b. Required Dissemination by CA/OCS:  Post to TSG

c.  Required Dissemination by Post: 

(1)  Send an Alert via MASCOT; and

(2)  Publish on post website.

d. Optional dissemination:

(1)  CA social media accounts; and

(2)  Post social media accounts and website.

7 FAM 058 Appendix A  Large Event Information

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

The Department of State is regularly called upon to coordinate the U.S. government presence and/or response to major events overseas. 

7 FAM 058.1 Appendix A  Large Event Definitions

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

The Department publishes large event information to describe consular services and risks during events where large crowds of U.S. citizens participate; for example, sporting events, concerts, and rallies.  Large event web pages have included:

(1)  Olympics;

(2)  World Cup; and

(3)  World Youth Day.

7 FAM 058.2 Appendix A  Large Event Information Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Lead office: CA drafts large event resources based on input from post, DS, regional bureau and other appropriate bureaus, and event organizers. 

b. Timing: Begin planning for large events at least a year before the scheduled event is to occur, if possible.  A best practice is to publish large event information pages at least three months in advance.

c. Removal: In coordination with post the event page should be updated to reflect all current security concerns, and subsequently be removed from travel.state.gov at the end of the event.

7 FAM 058.3 Appendix A  Large Event Information Procedure

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. CA will coordinate with relevant posts, Department bureaus, U.S. government partners, foreign governments, and non-governmental organizations as necessary.

b. When possible information should refer and link directly to official sources and subject matter experts for current and accurate information.

7 FAM 058.4 Appendix A  Large Event Information Clearance Process

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. CA must clear large event Information with the following offices:

(1)  CA/OCS;

(2)  Regional bureau;

(3)  Diplomatic Security; and

(4)  CA/P.

b. Other clearances as appropriate, such as: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Public Affairs (PA).

7 FAM 058.5 Appendix A  Large Event Information Dissemination

 (CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. For more information on dissemination procedures, please see 7 FAM 032 Appendix A.

b. Optional Dissemination by CA/OCS:  post to TSG;

c.  Optional Dissemination by CA/P:  CA social media and PA for larger messaging;

d. Required Dissemination by post:  Not applicable;

e. Optional dissemination:

(1)  Send an Alert via MASCOT;

(2)  Post website and social media accounts; and

(3)  Media note.

7 FAM 060 Appendix A  Safety and Security Information produced by post

7 FAM 061 Appendix A  Alerts

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Alerts (formerly known as Security Messages and Emergency Messages) are created by posts to alert U.S. citizens to safety or security information in or directly impacting that consular district.

7 FAM 062 Appendix A  Alerts Definitions

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Alerts provide safety and security information to U.S. citizens.  Examples include alerting U.S. citizens to: 

·         Criminal activity

·         Demonstrations, strikes, and protests

·         Dangerous weather conditions

·         Health threats of a short-term or localized nature

·         Terrorist events

·         Terrorist threats;

·         Suspicious packages

·         Natural disasters

·         Extraordinary measures by local authorities, such as martial law

·         Post closures, Authorized/Ordered Departures, and/or closures to the public

·         Upcoming holidays (if there is a specific threat)

·         Major events

7 FAM 063 Appendix A  Alerts Procedures

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Posts are responsible for drafting and clearing Alerts.  Officers at post should follow the below guidance to determine whether an Alert is warranted.  Officers can consult the CA/OCS/ACS country officer with questions.

a. No Double Standard Policy:  The Department's “No Double Standard” policy (7 FAM 050) is an essential factor in determining whether to send an Alert.  Officers should review 7 FAM 050 and consult the CA/OCS/ACS Country Officer and CA/OCS/L through ASK-OCS-L@state.gov for further guidance.

b. Safety and Security Information Only:

(1)  Alerts are intended to make U.S. citizens aware of safety and security information.  They should not be used to share events trending in the news or information that does not have the potential to impact the safety and security of U.S. citizens.  Long-term trends or advice should be included in the country pages.

(2)  Administrative information that is not related to safety and security and needs to be sent to U.S. citizens (for example:  voter registration or town hall announcement) should be sent as a routine message (7 FAM 071 Appendix A for information on Routine Messages).

(3)  Any U.S. personnel restriction associated with a security threat generally should be included in the Alert pursuant to the No Double Standard policy (7 FAM 050).  If Chief of Mission personnel are banned from a commercial airline, Alerts should be sent in all affected consular districts.  Longer-term U.S. personnel restrictions based on safety and security can be included within the Travel Advisory, Country Information, or other CIP product.

c.  Temporary Closure to the Public:  If a security situation requires a post to temporarily close to the public, even for a short period, posts must send an Alert.  (See 12 FAH-1 H-743 and 7 FAM 063.)  The Alert must include the following:

(1)  Circumstances that caused reduced operations/closure, using unclassified and publicly releasable information;

(2)  Effective date/time of reduced services/closure, and expected re-opening date/time, if known.  Note days post is already scheduled to be closed because of local holiday/normal weekend closures (e.g., “effective date of closure to the public is May 5, with expected re-opening day of May 7.  May 6 is a local holiday, and post is scheduled to be closed.”);

(3)  Sections affected by reduced operations/temporary closure (e.g., “passport and visa services, library, and FCS office closed”);

(4)  Contact information for U.S. citizens if they require emergency consular assistance; and any provisions made for emergency consular services for U.S. citizens.

(5)  If post is closing for non-security reasons (for example, a local holiday), this information is shared with U.S. citizens via a routine Message (see 7 FAM 071 Appendix A).

(6)  Since Alerts are a primary method for officers at post to maintain contact with the U.S. citizen and national community in a country, post’s Emergency Action Plan should incorporate strategies to keep this channel of communication open and appropriately active when post is under a state of emergency or during events such as a temporary closure to the public.

d. Message Fatigue:

(1)  Sending out multiple Alerts about an ongoing event can dull the impact of those messages with the audience and lead to message fatigue.  Message fatigue is especially of concern for a post that sees significant political instability, frequent demonstrations, or frequently occurring severe natural events (e.g., cyclonic storms, minor volcanic or seismic activity).

(2)  Posts should reduce the frequency of messages by including text in the country information noting that the activity occurs frequently and/or multiple disruptive events occur in a particular area.  For example, demonstrations related to elections or the anniversary of an important event in the country may recur periodically or even annually.  Including this type of information in the country information will ensure that the public has already had the opportunity to learn about a potentially dangerous place or time to travel and can take preventive action.  The creation of a separate webpage on a crisis or event can also reduce the need to send a large number of Alerts in a short period of time.

7 FAM 064 Appendix A  Drafting Alerts

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. When using the Department-approved templates (7 FAM 067 Appendix A Exhibit), post may send an Alert without clearances from the Department, except in limited circumstances (see 7 FAM 065  Appendix A).  The templates capture the majority of security-related communications to U.S. citizens around the world.  Officers can choose the template and language most relevant to the situation or threat. Whenever appropriate, CA encourages the use of previously cleared language from previous Alerts, Country Information, Travel Advisories, or Worldwide Cautions.

b. Template: (see also 7 FAM 067 Appendix A Exhibit Alert Template Language and 7 FAM 069 Appendix A Alert Examples) 

(1)  Title:  “XX Alert – U.S. Embassy YY (Release Date: Month, Day, Year)”.  Select the appropriate type of Alert (e.g. Security Alert, Demonstration Alert, Weather Alert, Health Alert) to be used in the title from the templated language.  Use the date the message will be released, not the date of the event or threat.

(2)  Location:  Use bullet points to list the locations involved.

(3)  Event:  Briefly describe the event or threat in a short phrase or word.  Include the essential information U.S. citizens need to know at the beginning of the Alert.  Make it “tweetable.”  Use template language as much as possible and keep your message simple and brief.  If applicable provide information about restrictions on U.S. government personnel and post's operations such as temporary closure to the public or limited consular services.  Aim to make the entire paragraph no longer than 2-3 sentences.

(4)  Actions to Take:  In collaboration with the Regional Security Officer (RSO), choose one or more relevant actions from the approved list and put them in bullet form.

(5)  Assistance:  Include post’s contact information at the bottom of each message.  Be sure the hyperlinks work.

c.  Never use classified language.  Unless the Department can obtain an unclassified version of the information, it cannot be disseminated beyond those with a need to know for investigative or assessment purposes. 

d. Avoid referring to reports as “unconfirmed.”  If reports are unconfirmed, post should not disseminate them to the public.

e. Avoid referring to threats as "credible, specific, and non-counterable."  While the Department uses these terms to evaluate threat information, the public doesn’t necessarily understand what they mean in this context.

f.  When consular warden networks are used to disseminate Alerts, post should remind consular wardens to not paraphrase Alerts, but deliver them verbatim.

7 FAM 065 Appendix A  Alerts Clearance Process

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Alerts must be cleared at post, even when using an approved template.

b. Alerts drafted in accordance with one of the pre-approved templates do not need to be approved by the Department, with the following exceptions:

(1)  Alerts concerning terrorist or criminal threat/incidents must be cleared by the Department.  These threats usually involve intelligence or sensitive information, so proper care must be taken to ensure sources and methods are protected.  Post should clear the Alert at post first then send the draft Alert to the CA/OCS/ACS country officer for Department clearance.  (Alerts regarding terrorist or security incidents that concern active incidents which pose an immediate and ongoing threat to U.S. citizen safety do not require Department approval.).

(2)  If the Alert is related to a crisis for which a State and/or Consular Task Force has been established, the Alert must be cleared through the appropriate Task Force(s).  If a State and/or Consular Task Force has not yet been established, but is likely to be convened in response to the situation, the Alert must be cleared by the Department as outlined in this section.

(3)  If the Alert deviates from the templates in a substantive way, Department clearance is required.  Post should consult the ACS country officer if there is uncertainty.

(4)  Post must clear messages that may be politically sensitive in nature with the Department.  Examples of politically sensitive messages include, but are not limited to, protests with anti-American sentiment or aimed at U.S. policy, threats towards Embassy or mission personnel, and threats at or near a U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or other mission abroad.  Consult the ACS country officer if there is uncertainty.  As noted above, all alerts should be sent without regard to any political or economic considerations

c.  If an Alert requires Department clearances, after the Alert has been fully cleared at post, CA/OCS/ACS country officers clear Alerts with the following offices:

(1)  CA/OCS/ACS;

(2)  Diplomatic Security (DS/IP, DS/TIA, DS/HTP);

(3)  Regional bureau; and

(4)  Others as appropriate.

If the Alert requires after-hours Department clearance, post should contact the Operations Center at 202-647-1512 and request to speak to the CA/OCS Duty Officer.  Once approved by the CA/OCS Duty Officer, the Operations Center will convene a conference call to obtain the necessary clearances.

7 FAM 066 Appendix A  Alerts Dissemination

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. For more information on dissemination procedures, please see 7 FAM 032  Appendix A.

b. Required Dissemination by CA/OCS:  CA/OCS/ACS country officer emails a copy of the Alert to the regional bureau and DS/TIA/ITA division for their awareness.

c.  Required Dissemination by CA/P:  None Required

d. Required Dissemination by post:

(1)  Distribute to U.S. citizens via MASCOT.

(2)  Upload the Alert to post's website.  (TSG will automatically pull the Alert from post's website onto the TSG country information page.)

(3)  If afterhours at post or otherwise unable to upload to the embassy website, email embassy@america.gov with the request to upload the Alert to post’s website.  Be sure to attach the text of the message, as well as the link where the Alert should be posted.

(4)  Email the final Alert to CA-alerts@state.gov and the CA/OCS/ACS country officer.

(5)  Warden network.

d. Optional dissemination:

(1)  CA social media; and

(2)  Post social media.

7 FAM 067 Appendix A  Exhibit  Alert Template Language

(CT:CON-851;   09-21-2018)

Please also see for examples of Alerts.

 

Risk Type

Examples

(not all-inclusive)

Template Text

(must use Times New Roman font 14)

Security (event has already taken place)

Shooting

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy (City, Country) (Release Date)

 

Location: (Location of incident, i.e., city, landmark, neighborhood. If more than one location, provide bullet list.  Please use format:  “Neighborhood/Landmark, City, Country”)

 

Event: State the incident which took place/crime trend.  Provide local government threat assessment or action if applicable.   Please spell out “Month, Date, Year” for all dates.

If applicable: U.S. government personnel are advised to/prohibited from (Mission official posture).

If applicable: provide information about impact on embassy operations, such as early closure, closure, and limited consular appointments.

 

Actions to Take: (provide bullet list of pre-cleared advice, see 7 FAM 068 Appendix A  Alert Actions Menu )

 

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy/Consulate (City, Country)

Phone number

Email address

Embassy/Consulate website

 

State Department - Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

 

(Country) Country Information

 Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Carjacking/Robbery

Assault

Plane/Vehicle Attack/Suicide Bomber

Explosion

Hostage-taking/kidnapping

Crime trends

Future or Ongoing Terrorist Threat (NOT a specific incident that occurred)

 

Full clearance needed

Upcoming Event Associated with Specific Threat

Upcoming holiday (NOT general holiday security reminder)

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy (City, Country) (Release Date)

 

Location: (Location of incident, i.e., city, landmark, neighborhood. If more than one location, provide bullet list.  Please use format:  “Neighborhood/Landmark, City, Country”)

 

Event: State the event, date, and any concerns.  Provide any local government threat assessment or action.  Please spell out “Month, Date, Year” for all dates.

If applicable: U.S. government personnel are advised to/prohibited from (state posture).

If applicable: provide information about impact on embassy operations, such as early closure, closure, and limited consular appointments.

 

Actions to Take: (provide bullet list of pre-cleared advice, see 7 FAM 068 Appendix A  Alert Actions Menu)

 

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy/Consulate (City, Country)

Phone number

Email address

Embassy/Consulate website

 

State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

 

(Country) Country Information

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Upcoming event

Demonstrations

Roadblocks

Demonstration Alert - U.S. Embassy (City, Country)  (Release Date)

 

Location: (Location of incident, i.e., city, landmark, neighborhood. If more than one location, provide bullet list.  Please use format:  “Neighborhood/Landmark, City, Country”)

 

Event: Demonstrations/strikes are expected to take place on (date) beginning at (time).   The (group) intends to protest (purpose of the demonstration). Please spell out “Month, Date, Year” for all dates.

 

If applicable: U.S. government personnel are advised to/prohibited from (state posture).

 

If applicable: provide information about impact on embassy operations, such as early closure, closure, and limited consular appointments.

 

Actions to Take: (provide bullet list of pre-cleared advice, see 7 FAM 068 Appendix A  Alert Actions Menu )

 

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy/Consulate (City, Country)

Phone number

Email address

Embassy/Consulate website

 

State Department - Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

 

(Country) Country Information

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

 

Strikes

Protests

Natural Disasters/Weather

Earthquake

Weather Alert - U. S. Embassy (City, Country) (Release Date)

 

Location: (Location of incident, i.e., city, landmark, neighborhood. If more than one location, provide bullet list.  Please use format:  “Neighborhood/Landmark, City, Country”)

 

Event: Briefly provide description of weather-related event (floods, volcanic activity, drought, high winds, etc). Expect (list conditions such as extremely high winds, dangerous storm tides, heavy rainfall, possible flooding, etc.)

If applicable: U.S. government personnel are advised to/prohibited from (state posture).

If applicable: provide information about impact on embassy operations, such as early closure, closure, and limited consular appointments. Please spell out “Month, Date, Year” for all dates.

 

Actions to Take: (provide bullet list of pre-cleared advice, see 7 FAM 068 Appendix A  Alert Actions Menu)

 

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy/Consulate (City, Country)

Phone number

Email address

Embassy/Consulate website

 

State Department - Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

 

(Country) Country Information

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

 

Tsunami

Typhoon

Hurricane

Volcano/Ash Clouds

Landslide

Health

Localized disease outbreaks

Health Alert - U. S. Embassy (City, Country) (Release Date)

 

Location: (Location of incident, i.e., city, landmark, neighborhood. If more than one location, provide bullet list.  Please use format:  “Neighborhood/Landmark, City, Country”)

 

 

Event:  State the health concern and source. 

If applicable:  CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Notice.  (Include hyperlink to Travel Notice).

If applicable:  U.S. government personnel are advised to/prohibited from (state posture).  Please spell out “Month, Date, Year” for all dates.

If applicable: Please check with the airlines regarding any flight cancellations and/or restrictions on flying.

If applicable:  Please note that the following [hospitals/clinics] are reported closed/report significant backlogs.

 

Actions to Take: (provide bullet list of pre-cleared advice, see 7 FAM 068 Appendix A  Alert Actions Menu )

 

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy/Consulate (City, Country)

Phone number

Email address

Embassy/Consulate website

 

State Department - Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

 

(Country) Country Information

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

 

Vaccination/medication shortages

Other short-term health concerns including severe air pollution

New Travel Advisory issued

Authorized/Ordered Departure

Send your cleared Advisory as an Alert and attach "Assistance" section to it.

Travel Advisory Level Increases

7 FAM 068 Appendix A  Alert Actions Menu

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Officers and posts drafting an Alert should select one or more appropriate recommended actions from the below pre-cleared language menu to include in part 5 of the Alert.  Use hyperlinks when possible.  Direct U.S. citizens to websites or provide contact information where they can learn more.  Alerts are not limited to only this list.  When drafting additional advice based on specific information, text should be short, direct, and actionable.

Avoid the area. [include details of the area to avoid]

Monitor local media for updates.

Avoid crowds. 

Avoid demonstrations

Keep a low profile.       

Notify friends and family of your safety.

Be aware of your surroundings.

Be vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.

Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches.

Use caution when walking or driving at night.

Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.

Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists/Westerners.

Make contingency plans to leave.

Review your personal security plans.

Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible.

Carry proper Identification, including a U.S. passport with a current (country) visa

Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.

Seek secure shelter.

Visit the CDC Travelers Health Page.

Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for country health advisories or call CDC at 800-232-4636 or 404-639-3534.

7 FAM 069 Appendix A  Alerts examples

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

The following sections provide examples of Alerts.  Posts must follow this template without alterations and use Times New Roman size 14.  The title of the message must appear in both the subject line and the body of the message.

7 FAM 069.1 Appendix A  Example of Security Alert (Crime)

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy Libreville, Gabon (December 13, 2017)

Location: Libreville, Gabon

Event: The U.S. Embassy in Libreville advises U.S. citizens of a new crime trend in Libreville.  Individuals will loiter near busy streets and observe passing cars in order to spot potential slowly moving targets.  Once identified, an assailant will approach the target car on foot and reach in the window or open the door to snatch an item.

Actions to Take:

·         Use caution when walking or driving at night

·         Keep a low profile

·         Be aware of your surroundings

·         Keep a low profile

·         Do not physically resist any robbery attempt

·         Review your personal security plans

Assistance:

·         U.S. Embassy Libreville , Gabon

+241 01 45 71 00

+241 07 38 01 71 (after hours)

LibrevilleACS@state.gov

State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

·         Gabon Country Information

·         Enroll in Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

·         Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

7 FAM 069.2 Appendix A  Example of Security Alert (Terrorism)

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy United Kingdom (May 24, 2017)

Location: United Kingdom, countrywide 

Event: The UK government has raised its assessment of the threat level for terrorism to “critical.”  This is the highest level in the UK government’s threat-level system and indicates a further attack is imminent.  UK authorities have announced they will deploy military units and a heightened police presence near large public gatherings, major public venues, and transportation hubs.

Actions to Take:

·         Visit the MI5 Security Service website [insert link] for information.

·         Monitor local media for updates.

Assistance:

·         U.S. Embassy London, United Kingdom

+(44)(20) 7499-9000

SCSLondon@state.gov

[U.S. Embassy web page]

·         State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

·         United Kingdom Country Information

·         Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

·         Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

7 FAM 069.3 Appendix A  Example of Security Alert (Terrorist Event)

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Security Alert - U. S. Consulate General St. Petersburg, Russia (April 3, 2017)

Location: Sennaya and Technological Institute Metro stations, St. Petersburg, Russia 

Event: Media report explosions.  Local authorities have shut down the metro.

Actions to Take:

·         Avoid the area.

·         Monitor local media for updates.

·         Be aware of your surroundings.

Assistance:

·         U.S. Consulate General St. Petersburg, Russia

+7 (812) 331-2600

+7 (812) 331-2600 (after hours)

StPetersburgACS@state.gov

[U.S. Embassy web page]

·         State Department - – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

·         Russia Country Information

·         Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

·         Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

7 FAM 069.4 Appendix A  Example of Security Alert (Upcoming Holiday)

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy Moscow, Russia (May 25, 2017)

Location: Russia, countrywide 

Event: Victory Day celebrations will take place over the extended holiday weekend.  Police officers will likely be conducting regular identification checks, especially near tourist attractions and near rallies.  You should carry proper identification at all times – a U.S. passport with a current Russian visa.

Actions to Take:

·         Be aware of your surroundings.

·         Carry proper identification at all times, including a U.S. passport with a current Russian visa

Assistance:

·         U.S. Embassy Moscow, Russia

+7 (495) 728-5577

Moscowwarden@state.gov

[U.S. Embassy web page]

·         State Department - – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

·         Kuwait Country Information [insert link to country information page]

·         Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

·         Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

7 FAM 069.5 Appendix A  Example of Demonstration Alert

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Demonstration Alert - U. S. Embassy Caracas, Venezuela (July 13, 2017)

Location: Announced gathering points include, but are not limited to, the following neighborhoods in Caracas, Venezuela:

·         Altamira

·         La Carlota

·         Las Mercedes

·         Campo Alegre

Event: Demonstrations expected to take place on July 13 beginning at 5 p.m.  The groups intend to protest the Venezuelan government. Recent protests have encountered a strong police/security force presence, the use of tear gas, and the use of rubber bullets.

U.S. government personnel are advised to avoid those areas during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Actions to Take:

·         Avoid the areas of the demonstrations.

·         Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.

·         Monitor local media for updates

·         Keep a low profile.

·         Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Caracas, Venezuela

+(58) (212) 975-6411

+(58) (212) 907-8400 (after hours)

ACSVenezuela@state.gov

[U.S. Embassy web page]

·         State Department - – Consular Affairs888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

·         Venezuela Country Information

·         Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

·         Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

7 FAM 069.6 Appendix A  Example of Weather Alert

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Weather Alert - U.S. Embassy Rangoon, Burma (April 16, 2017)

Location: Rakhine State; possible heavy rains country-wide.

Event:  There is a cyclone system developing in the Bay of Bengal. The storm is currently expected to make landfall in Burma in the late evening hours of April 16. Expect heavy rains and strong winds with possible flooding, landslides, power outages and difficult travel conditions in Rakhine State.  Expect increased rainfall levels and winds throughout the country.

Actions to Take: 

·         Avoid travel to Rakhine State until the storm has dissipated.

·         Monitor the local news for updates.

·         Seek secure shelter.

·         Visit the Joint Typhoon Warning Center [insert link] and Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) [insert link] for updated storm tracking information.Assistance:

·         U.S. Embassy Rangoon, Burma

+95 1 536 509

+95 (0)95124330, or +95 1 500 547 (after hours)

consularrangoon@state.gov

[U.S. Embassy web page]

·         State Department - – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

·         Burma Country Information [insert link to country information page]

·         Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

·         Follow us on Facebook and Twitter [insert links]

7 FAM 069.7 Appendix A  Example of Health Alert

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Health Alert - U. S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin (March 2, 2017)

Location: Tchaourou (Borgou region) and Tanguieta (Atacora region)

Event:  The Ministry of Health in Benin announced one confirmed and one suspected case of Lassa Fever, a rare but potentially life-threatening viral hemorrhagic disease. 

Actions to Take:

·         Consult a medical professional if you have been in direct contact with an infected person within the past three weeks and have symptoms of Lassa Fever.

·         Visit CDC’s website on Lassa Fever Assistance:

·         U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin

+(229) 21-30-75-00

ConsularCotonou@state.gov  

[U.S. Embassy web page]

·         State Department - – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

·         Benin Country Information

·         Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

·         Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

7 FAM 070 Appendix A  General information produced by post

7 FAM 071 Appendix A  Routine Messages

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Routine Messages also known as Messages to U.S. Citizens provide information to U.S. citizens about a variety of non-safety and security related topics.

7 FAM 072 Appendix A  Routine Messages Definition

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

Routine Messages cover administrative topics such as voter registration, income tax season, new passport procedures, town hall announcements, and other non-emergency, non-safety/non-security issues of interest to the local U.S. citizen community.

7 FAM 073 Appendix A  Routine Messages Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Posts have discretion to determine whether to draft and release routine messages, unless otherwise stated.  Additionally, at times the Department may provide text and instruct posts to release a routine message.

b. The CA/OCS/ACS country officer will provide guidance to post on procedures to send routine messages about voting.  For more information about voting, ACS collective email:  CA-Voting-Assistance-Officers@state.gov

c.  CA/OCS/PMO provides guidance to post on federal benefits and U.S. citizens' legal obligations such as taxes and selective service.  CA/OCS/PMO will provide instructions to post about income tax season and links to IRS materials.  PMO will clear such language with the IRS.  For more information about federal obligation programs, PMO collective email:  FedBen@state.gov. 

d. Posts may send routine messages when there is a significant change to ACS hours or a temporary closure at post due to non-safety and security issues such as, but not limited to, facilities or systems maintenance work, changes in appointment systems, federal benefits procedures.

e. Posts should send routine messages when there is a significant change to ACS processes, including but not limited to changes in appointment systems, passport requirements, or Consular Report of Birth Abroad procedures. 

g. Posts may publicize closures for local holidays, U.S. citizen town halls, or offsite ACS passport/CRBA acceptance events via routine messages. 

h. Routine messages can cover a wide range of topics, and it may seem prudent to send them out regularly.  Officers at post should keep in mind that sending out too many messages may lead to "message fatigue" and dull the impact of important messages. 

i.  Posts should consider including several announcements in one routine message as a kind of ACS newsletter.  Even if the announcements are unrelated, posts can send announcements on a monthly basis in order to reduce the number of messages U.S. citizens receive.  Include hyperlinks to outside resources when appropriate.  

7 FAM 074 Appendix A  Routine Messages Clearing Offices

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. Non-emergency messages for U.S. citizens that contain routine information unrelated to safety or security do not need to be approved by CA/OCS or others in the Department.

b. Posts should always email an info copy of the message to their CA/OCS/ACS country officer. 

7 FAM 075 Appendix A  Routine Messages Dissemination

(CT:CON-772;   01-05-2018)

a. For more information on dissemination procedures, please see 7 FAM 032 Appendix A.

b. Required Dissemination by CA/OCS:  None Required

c.  Required Dissemination by post:

(1)  Post to embassy website;

(2)  Send an Alert via MASCOT; and

(3)  Consular warden network.

d. Optional dissemination

(1)  Post social media accounts; and

(2)  CA social media.

7 FAM 076 Appendix A  through  7 FAM 079 Appendix A  Unassigned

 

UNCLASSIFIED (U)