Natural Disaster Assistance – International SOS

Last updated: 18 April 2018

International SOS informs and analyses the risks of exposure to natural disasters at your destination, so your employees can feel safer on the road.

Are you ready for the storms ahead?

Keep your people prepared and productive 

Natural disasters like tsunamis, floods and forest fires happen all too often, as do earthquakes, hurricanes and other extreme weather events. Global organisations consider their business travellers and expatriates are at medium risk of hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis while on assignment. 

The frequency and severity of natural disasters have led to unprecedented destruction. As well as the tragic cost to human life, businesses in the affected areas have suffered too. Such events will inevitably happen again and businesses must be prepared through more access to disaster training and information – for the sake of their people and their own survival.
Flooded street

International SOS is playing a leading role in providing natural disaster assistance and support for medical and security risks, no matter where your people are. Our specialist teams are working around the clock to keep your employees protected and business moving.

  • Assess and understand the risks of exposure at your destination: We analyse and evaluate any location you are sending your employees to and recommend measures that help mitigate risks.
  • Educate your travellers before they depart: Through our specialist security information and disaster training education programmes, we help you to prepare your travellers for the local situation as well as advise on measures to take should the situation deteriorate.
  • Around the clock access for your travellers to specific local advice: Our qualified doctors and security specialists are there for your employees, no matter what, where or when.Stay connected with your travellers and keep track of them in a high risk location: Using the latest updates and natural disaster information, we make sure your employees are prepared at all times.

Achieve your goals and avoid loss of time and productivity by preparing your employees for travel and supporting them when they are in unfamiliar and remote locations. Through natural disaster business training we help to keep your people healthy and safe, so you can focus on your core business activities.


Staff looking at location on map


We keep you and your travellers up to date with what is happening in every country you operate in, or where your employees are travelling. Major natural disasters are widely reported in the media but many other bad weather events happen which can disrupt your plans. Our alerts keep you fully informed of the latest developments, including changes in risk status. 

Business travellers in unfamiliar locations may not be able to readily appreciate what is happening if the weather suddenly worsens or if public forecasts are issued. Our 24/7 assistance centres can offer practical advice in a language they understand. 

Countries at risk 

The World Risk Report 1 provides an annual assessment of the countries at risk from natural disasters. The countries in the gravest situation are those where high hazard exposure meets societal vulnerability. In 2016 the three countries most at risk, with ratings all above 25%, were Vanuatu, Tonga and the Philippines. No other country on the list exceeds 20% risk.

Countries with considerably higher rankings include Japan (13.47%), which was struck by an earthquake of 9.1 magnitude in 2011, causing a tsunami and subsequently factoring into the nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant. Japan’s location on what’s called the Pacific Ring of Fire – one of Earth’s most disruptive seismic regions – is thought to contribute to its at-risk factor. 

In Cameroon (11.91%) during the 1980s, two aseismic events thought connected to the Foumban Shear Zone resulted in the deaths of thousands, when clouds of CO2 erupted from Lakes Nyos and Manoun, escaping across the land and suffocating people and livestock instantly.

The Chile-Peru Trench off the coast of South America is thought to cause numerous seismic events. In recent years a number of earthquakes have caused disruption in Chile, including the 2010 earthquake which registered 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale. Tremors were felt in a Peru city some 1,500 miles away, and the subsequent tsunami caused damage in California, USA.

Keeping track as events unfold 

Not all events escalate to an evacuation. We help you assess the seriousness of the event and decide what to do – balancing the need for safety with the costs of unnecessary cancellations and evacuations caused by overreacting. This might involve offering reassurance to your expatriate population, or helping business travellers get around an unfamiliar area. Or, we can assist your people find alternative modes of transport as well as food, water, medications and any other support they need.

We can also help see at a glance exactly where your employees are and communicate with them to check they are well. This service can include getting them to ‘check in’ at designated times – balancing your peace of mind with respect for their privacy. 

Assistance as needed 

Our assistance centres offer immediate access to our medical and security experts. If a situation escalates, you can be assured of our full support, from dealing with minor injuries to full evacuations. We also offer trauma counselling after the event. 

Meanwhile all your communications and actions taken can be automatically recorded so you can check compliance with your travel risk policies.