Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Information for Visitors/Residents in Chile

Emergency Preparedness

Welcome to the Emergency Preparedness website of the United States Embassy in Santiago, Chile. The Consular Section of the Embassy has developed this site to provide the American community in Chile with useful, accurate information about preparing to confront earthquakes and other disasters.

Chile is an earthquake-prone country. It sits on the so-called Pacific “Rim of Fire”, the massive expanse of territory from Indonesia, to Japan, to Hawaii, to the Pacific coasts of North and South America, which is characterized by pronounced seismic activity. The most severe earthquake on record, measuring 9.5 on the Richter scale, occurred in south-central Chile in 1960, and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people and widespread property damage; smaller, but still significant earthquakes, occur with regularity.

Earthquakes are the most common, but not the only natural disaster that visitors and residents of Chile might encounter. For example, undersea seismic activity periodically results in tsunamis, massive tidal waves that can wipe out everything within miles of the ocean. The 1960 earthquake, for example, was accompanied by a devastating tsunami. Many of Chile’s seaside cities and towns have extensive tsunami warning and evacuation systems. Chile has more active volcanoes than any country in the world and Andean snow melts and torrential rains periodically trigger floods.

Below you will find a series of links that provide background on natural disaster threats in Chile and information to help you and your family prepare to deal with these threats. The links are drawn from a variety of sources: American and Chilean, academic and official. You might want to start by reading Emergency Assistance to Citizens Abroad, to learn how the Embassy might help you in the event of an emergency. You can start immediately to improve your emergency preparedness by registering with the Embassy.

Whether a visitor to or a resident of Chile, we hope that you find the information on this site useful to you. We would be happy to hear any comments you may have about the site or suggestions you may have about how to improve it, at the American Citizens Unit e-mail.


General Emergency Preparedness

Specific Information on Emergency Preparedness