Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens- Hurricane Maria

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens- Hurricane Maria
United States Embassy, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
September 20, 2017


This message is to advise U.S. citizens residing and traveling in the Dominican Republic that Hurricane Maria, currently a category 4 storm, is projected to affect the Dominican Republic beginning Wednesday. This storm may bring significant rainfall and wind that may result in life-threatening flooding, flash flooding, and storm surge, and Hispaniola-wide impacts are likely. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) and local authorities are monitoring the progress of the storm, and the Embassy will issue updated messages as needed. Consult the State Department Hurricane Maria webpage for more complete updates related to the storm.

The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens that after 5:00 p.m. Wednesday September 20, 2017 all official travel east of La Romana and north of Santo Domingo will be canceled.  For the safety and security of our staff and visitors during weather conditions due to Hurricane Maria, the U.S. Embassy Consular Section in Santo Domingo will be closed for routine consular (nonimmigrant, immigrant, and non-emergency American citizen) services on Thursday September 21, 2017.  Those with scheduled appointments for September 21 will be notified directly of new appointment times (by email or telephone). For American Citizen Services emergencies please call 809-567-7775. For general information on immigrant or nonimmigrant visa cases, see the visa appointment page, or contact the call center at support-dominicanrepublic@ustraveldocs.com. For updates on embassy activities please see our website and/or Facebook page.

Travelers and residents wishing to depart before the arrival of the storm should contact their airlines or tour operators and keep their families informed of their welfare and whereabouts. U.S. citizens who wish to remain in place are advised to locate shelter, monitor media reports, and follow all official instructions. You should carry your travel documents at all times (i.e. U.S. passport, birth certificate, picture identification, etc.) or secure them in safe, waterproof locations. U.S. citizens should contact friends and family in the United States with updates about their whereabouts.

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

Additional information on hurricanes and storm preparedness may be found on our “Tropical Storm 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 Dominican Republic 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, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Travelers are advised to regularly monitor the travel information page of the State Department’s website where you can find current Travel Warnings for the Dominican Republic, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for the Dominican Republic. For additional information, refer to the “Travelers Checklist” on the State Department’s website. Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook for travel information at your fingertips.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizen Services unit of the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section, located at Av. República de Colombia, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 10507. You may also call 809-567-7775 during and after office hours.  For afterhours emergencies please press “1” when prompted. For non-emergency specific inquiries please e-mail us at SDOAmericans@state.gov.