Insured for medical evacuation

I was deeply moved when I read the letter titled “Coping With the Red Tape of an Overseas Death.” It was incredible to read about the obstacles Mrs. Patterson had to overcome after her husband’s sudden demise. I offer my sincerest condolence.

I would like to add the following to Mrs. Patterson’s recommendations.

Be sure you know the appropriate country’s emergency phone numbers for medical emergencies and police. Having an operational telephone card is a sine qua non, although usually you can access emergency numbers from any phone without a telephone card.

To summon bystanders for help, learn the following words in the native language before you need them: “Help,” “Quick,” “He is sick,” “He is dead,” “Emergency. Please call phone number. . .”

As all emergency medical evacuation (EME) plans provide for repatriation of the deceased, I called DAN (Divers Alert Network; phone 800/446-2671 or visit, the company that handles my annual EME through TravelAssist for $44 per year. When I asked a representative in the marketing department what the firm would do in similar circumstances, I was assured that, after a phone call from the insured, DAN would take care of all the arrangements.

Contributing Editor, ITN