Tag Archives: emergency


Important Telephone Numbers (Police and Emergency) – Telephone – Internet Servers

When visiting or living in the Dominican Republic it is important to know the emergency phone numbers and telephone and internet servers that are so important for communicating.

Important phone numbers | Phone Calls | Internet / Cable TV / Telephone Service Providers

Important phone numbers

to carry with you while visiting the Dominican Republic:

Sistema Nacional de Atención a Emergencias y Seguridad / National System of Attention to Emergencies and Security – 911
Police, Fire, Civil Defence, Reporting Excess Noise and Emergencies – 911 will now be available in the Santo Domingo and Santiago areas. The 911 service is growing to cover more and more of the Dominican Republic.

*Dirección Nacional de Emergencia/ Direction National Emergencies 809-566-6648.

*If you have an incident involving police (for example, they pull your vehicle over while driving or riding and ask you for money or harass you in any way) this can be reported to the Internal Affairs Department of the National Police at 809 688-1777.

If you are coming to Dominican Republic on vacation or are a long-term tourist CESTUR (the tourist police) has a free app you can put on your phone available on Google Play.

Policía Nacional / National Police Av. Leopoldo Navarro #402, Santo Domingo, R.D. – 809-682-2151 – TWITTER @PoliciaRD


CESTUR Police (Policía Turística/ Tourist Police) Cuerpo Especializado Securidad Turística http://cestur.gob.do/

If you are coming on vacation or are a tourist CESTUR (the tourist police) has a free app you can put on your phone available on Google Play.

1-809-200-3500 (free call)
809-222-2026 ext 2123.

Their web site has all the contact numbers on a google map.

Santo Domingo
There is a conveinent office on Calle el Conde.
*Cede Central C/ Gustavo M. Ricart No. 121 / c/Theodoro Chasseriau, El millon Sto Dgo. Tel: 809-222-2026 Ext. 0
*C/Juan Parra esq. Caamaño, edificio Plaza La Cultura No.136, Ciudad Colonial. Tel: 809-754-3025, 809-754-3025
*A small office at Port San Souci – Modulo de Asistencia al Turista, Avenida España Muelle San Souci Tel: 809-754-3123, 809-754-3048

Authoridad Metropolitana de Transporte (AMET)
Authoridad Metropolitana de Transporte (AMET) / Metropolitan Transportation Authority – 809-686-6520 – TWITTER:@AMETRD

Cuerpo de Bomberos de Santo Domingo
Cuerpo de Bomberos de Santo Domingo / Fire department – 809-682-4545

Corporacion de Acueducto y Alcantarillados de Santo Domingo (CAASD)
Corporacion de Acueducto y Alcantarillados de Santo Domingo (CAASD) / Corporation of Aqueducts and Sewers of Santo Domingo – 809-562-3500 – TWITTER: @rdcaasd

Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales (CDEEE)
Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales (CDEEE) / Dominican Corporation of State Electric Companies – 809-535-1100 –

Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias (COE)
Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias (COE) / Emergency Operations Center – 809-472-0909 – TWITTER: @COE_RD

Cruz Roja Dominicana
Cruz Roja Dominicana / Dominican Red Cross – 809-682-4545 – TWITTER: @crdominicana

Defensa Civil
Defensa Civil / Civil Defense – 809-682-1749 – TWITTER:@DefensaCivilRD

Oficina Nacional de Meteorología (ONAMET)
Oficina Nacional de Meteorología (ONAMET) / National Meteorological Office – 809-788-1122 – TWITTER: @onamet

*Directory Assistance: 411

*Dominican Republic Yellow Pages/ Páginas Amarillas. For English click on the top. http://www.paginasamarillas.com.do/Default.aspx

*A private nationwide ambulance service, ProMed, operates in Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata and La Romana; Telephone number is 809-412-5555. ProMed expects full payment at the time of transport.
Ambulance Service – Movimed 809-255-0394

*Any complaints arising from a casino should be directed to the Office of Casinos at the Secretary of Finance. To register a complaint with this office, call 809-687-5131, ext. 2120.

The Consular Section and the U.S. Embassy

moved (June 2014) to Arroyo Hondo sector, north of the Botanical Gardens between Av. Republica de Colombia and Carretera La Isabela. The address is: Av. República de Colombia #68, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana. The Consular Section entrance is on Republica de Colombia Avenue located at the corner of Calle César Nicolás Penson and Avenida Máximo Gómez.

The American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit can be reached by telephone at 809-731-4294, or via email at acssantodom@state.gov. ACS Unit office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., except on U.S. and Dominican holidays. The Consular Section entrance is on República de Colombia Avenue. is located at the corner of Calle César Nicolás Penson and Avenida Máximo Gómez. The telephone number is 809-221-2171.

There is a Consular Agency in the north coast city of Puerto Plata at Calle Villanueva esq. Avenida John F. Kennedy, Edificio Abraxa Libraria, 2nd floor, telephone 809-586-4204, 809-586-8017, 809-586-8023; office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

One type of Payphone used in
One type of Payphone used in Dominican Republic

Phone Calls

To make a phone call to a Dominican Republic telephone number from the United States or Canada it is the same as calling any US or CA number because they are all part of the North American Numbering Plan – NANP. There is no International code. The area code for the Dominican Republic is 809, 829 and 849. So when You call dial
1 + 809 (or 829 or 849) + the 7 digit number.
It is the same when calling to USA or Canada from Dominican Republic. Just dial as you would if you were in USA.
1 + Area Code + the 7 digit number.

Payphones here can be a little different. Usually, you wait until the call connects and drop your coin into the slot. Some phones you drop the coin and there is a button to push when the call connects. Most phones have a display of how much time you have or they will beep. Make sure to deposit another coin before the time runs out or you will be disconnected.

Internet / Cable TV / Telephone Service Providers

Proveedores de Servicios de Internet / Telecable / Telephono

*Codetel / Claro – provides internet and cable television.
*Altice – offers mobile Internet access to customers (used to be Orange).
*Wind Telecom – provides telephone, television and internet services.

More information and Helps when using or purchasing a phone in Dominican Republic.

Weather / Clima

The Weather in Dominican Republic

The weather here in Dominican Republic is tropical. It is hot and hotter. The temperature average is 87° degrees Fahrenheit / 30° degrees Celsius. For the high, 72° degrees Fahrenheit / 17° degrees Celsius for the low.

Weather BasicsTemperature VariationsLatitude-LongitudeTime ZoneWeather AlertsWeather StationsFahrenheit to CelsiusCivil Defense AlertsEmergency Operations CenterWildfire Picture

The Dominicans love talking about the weather, just like anywhere throughout the world. You might see them wearing a sweater or even mittens while the tourists are wearing shorts and basking in the sun. The Dominicans will be saying it is cold and the tourists will be sweating. It is all a matter of perspective.

Beat the heat on a Sunday afternoon in Dominican Republic.
Beat the heat on a Sunday afternoon.

Temperature Variations

There are many temperature variations depending on where you are located throughout this large Caribbean island. Coastal areas are hotter than in the mountainous areas. City areas are hotter than the countryside.

The Cordillera Central mountain region is the coolest spot of the country (Jarabacoa and Constanza) where the average temperature is 61° F / 16°C. There has even been a few frosty mornings in the higher altitudes. Sitting water (in a bowl or bucket) can freeze at night in the mountains but it will melt fast as the sun rises. Remember this if you are planning on leaving the coast. Take appropriate clothing with you.

Along the coast the weather is usually warmer. There is usually always a breeze coming off the water. Depending on the time of year a sweater or light jacket may be needed in the evenings. In the desert regions of the southwest are the highest average temperatures. Temperatures can reach above 104°F / 40°C.


There is not much fluctuation in temperatures here in Dominican Republic. It is the humidity that changes.

Wearing a winter jacket in March.
A Dominican man wearing his winter jacket in March. He said it was cold.

The winter season, November thru April, is cooler and less humid. It is the most popular time for tourists arriving to Dominican Republic.

The summer season is May to October. It is humid with more rain. Be prepared to sweat because of the very high humidity.

The rainy season is normally in the spring but the weather patterns are changing. Along the northern coast, the rainy season lasts from November through January. In the rest of the country, it runs from May through November. May is normally the wettest month.

When it does rain it is usually not for long, unless there is a tropical depression or hurricane happening. The sun usually shines and there are very few days of complete cloud cover. When on vacation there is a very good chance one will be able to get that much desired tan. Make sure to bring the sunscreen as the tropical sun is very hot.

Mosquito Spray

Another thing to remember is when you come on a vacation bring the mosquito spray. Something with DEET is suggested. If you are sitting on the beach where there is always a breeze you will usually not be bothered by the mosquitoes and no-seeums. If the breeze stops of if you leave the resorts you WILL notice the mosquitoes. Most resorts spray for these pesky little buggers but when trekking away from the tourist areas it is wise to be prepared.


The Latitude and Longitude of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is 18.4° N 69.9° W.

It is very good to know the location of places in the Caribbean for weather, storm and emergency alerts.

The Latitude and Longitude of Dominican Republic
The Latitude and Longitude of Dominican Republic

Time Zone

Most weather advisories are in the local time zone of where the storm is located. Many times the weather service uses Zulu Time (Z) or Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Dominican Republic is in Eastern Standard Time (EST) and they do not change the time for Daylight Savings Time. For Dominican time subtract 5 hours from UTC (ex. if UTC time is 11 AM the time in Dominican Republic is 6AM).

Weather Alerts

Most weather alerts will say Dominican Republic or República Dominicana. There can also be alerts for Hispaniola, which is the name of our island. We are also known as the Greater Antilles, the island chain that includes Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and Puerto Rico. Water surrounds the island on three sides. The Atlantic Ocean to the north, The Mona Passage which is the water pass that divides Puerto Rico from Dominican Republic and the Caribbean Sea on the south. We can get many different storms coming from all different directions.

Weather Stations in Dominican Republic

Weather Stations and codesLatitude (n)Longitude(w)Elevation (meters)
Barahona (MDBH)18-12 N071-06 W3
La Romana International Airport (MDLR)18-25 N068-57 W8
Las Americas - Santo Domingo (MDSD)18-26 N069-40 W18
Santiago (MDST)19-27 N070-42 W183
Punta Cana (MDPC)18-34 N068-22 W12

Fahrenheit to Celsius

To change Fahrenheit to Celsius and back there are a few formulas

*This formula is an calculation which could be difficult unless you are a mathematician or have a pencil and paper.
Fahrenheit to Celsius °C × 1.8 then + 32 = °F
Celsius to Fahrenheit °F – 32 then ÷ 1.8 = °C

*A little easier yet exact if you double the Celsius, minus 10%, plus 32° = Fahrenheit. i.e. 26° Celsius x 2 = 52 – 10% = 47 + 32 = 79° Fahrenheit.

*The easiest and fastest calculations to figure the exchange but not as precise. To change Fahrenheit to Celsius subtract 32 from the degrees Fahrenheit, divide the answer by 9, multiply the answer by 5 and you have it.

Civil Defense

Defensa Civil República Dominicana
Dominican Republic has a Civil Defense Division / Defensa Civil República Dominicana. They set up evacuation routes and shelters as determined by the weather and need. You just have to keep listening to the radio and people talking to find out exactly where to go and what to do in the event of an emergency.

Dominican Republic Civil Defense Alerts
The Defensa Civil / Civil Defense of Dominican Republic has set up an alert system for emergencies. Weather, beach conditions and more are covered under this system. They place different flags on the beaches and other areas when the weather gets rough.

ALERTA VERDE / GREEN ALERT – Is to alert that there is a chance or they are expecting a state of emergency that could be happening. This is the lowest alert and lets one know to pay attention to what is or could be coming.

ALERTA AMARILLA / YELLOW ALERT – To warn if the development persists or continues to develop there is an eminent risk of danger. This is the second warning and is to be paid attention to very closely as the civil defence thinks that this is an emergency developing.

ALERTA ROJA / RED ALERT – This is to say that this is a serious threat to an area and the people and properties and environment in an area. This is a serious warning. If you are on a beach area DO NOT go into the water when this alert flag is up.

The Dominican Republic Emergency Operations Center

Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias (COE) is a great place to check when there are weather alerts. The page is in Spanish but it will tell you what areas are having storm warnings. They will give the areas the color rating above and state the locations where there could be potential problems. Click on the section that says “ALERTAS” and you will view all the updates. Click on the newest link and read the updates on the weather situation. They are very efficient in posting their alerts.


Satellite view of Dominican Republic Wildfires in 2008
Satellite view of Dominican Republic Wildfires in 2008

Satellite picture of Wildfires in Dominican Republic taken on March 18, 2005 from a satellite provided by NASA. This is when we had many wild fires during the dry season running from December to May for most of the island.

Picture provided by Visible Earth at NASA

Basic Helps

Basic Helps and Important Travel information

Colonial Zone – You will hear it called many different names. Zona Colonial, La Zona, The Zone, Ciudad Colonial, Ciudad Trujillo, Santo Domingo.

For travel information and warnings given for UK, USA, Canada:

*United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. For travel information. In case of emergency in Dominican Republic – United States Embassy in Santo Domingo. Call 809-221-2171 for help 24 hours a day.

*United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office. UK travel information

*Canada Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Canada travel information

Drugs and Dominican Republic are a real no-no. If you do get caught with ANYTHING they will take you to jail and it most likely WILL be a long time before you get out. Even if you are in a place and you see some drugs or drug dealing my advice to you is to get out of there and fast! Here in DR they are known to arrest everyone in a place and ask questions later, sometimes much later. (Read The Dominican Gringa Blog story on the Big Almost Drug Bust -new window)

Truck delivering the large jugs of bottled water called Botejon de Auga
Truck delivering the large jugs of bottled water called Botejon de Auga

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER! You could get the runs or worse. Drink bottled water, which most places have unless you are in remote areas. Ice is usually OK also because it is purchased from water distributors and is clean (ask if you want to make sure). The shaved ice vendors, ice in your juice or coco water that is purchased in the street is a definite NO-NO. It may not be a problem but even if you change your water anywhere from well water to city water you can have unwanted results. Why take the chance and have a bummer (LOL!) of a vacation?

Do just as you would in any other place. If you were in a strange neighborhood and there was a lonely, dark street or alley would you walk down it? I don’t think so. Use your head; you are in unfamiliar surroundings in a country where many people make less than $200 USD a month working a full time job (44 hours a week). Do not act better than anyone else. Do not wear your best designer clothing and expensive jewelry.

Try and carry a noise maker. Be it a loud car alarm, a hand held one, or your outside voice. If you do get robbed make noise. Robbers hate noise and attention drawn to them. Vigilantism lives in
Dominican Republic and people love to help when they see someone being wronged.

Try some new foods. You never will know if you like it unless you try it. I highly recommend
Mondongo. Never ask what it is. Just give it a try, then after you like it you can ask what it is, if you’re brave. Mondongo is the best after a night out partying if you feel like you will have a hangover (Resaca in Dominican Spanish). At least this is what I am told and so far it has worked wonders! There is also medicine sold in Colmados (the corner stores) that you take for a hangover, just say ” resaca” and they will know what you need.

Clap when the Airplane lands. Dominicans normally do this. Don’t be shocked. If they do it on your plane, just join in. You are on vacation. Relax.

It is not only what you know but also whom you know that makes dealing with many things go much smoother here in Dominican Republic. I also suggest asking around. Talk to the locals and see which businesses they recommend. Also remember to take your time. Dominicans love to talk. They like to take things slow. It is too hot to get worked up over the little things. Take time, get to know who you are dealing with and just enjoy the chatter.

Lip Talk. Dominicans, especially women, talk with their lips or noses (sort of like a Bewitched thing). They do not use words, just a flick or twitch to the right or left or a quick pout. This says more than any word ever could. Maybe the lips puckered for a quick second is saying, “yea, right, sure, I believe you.” (sarcasm). When getting directions no need to point just a lip flick to the left, right or straight ahead and one knows just what direction in which to precede. It takes some time to figure out what all the movements mean but it is fun trying to learn. So if you see people, especially the ladies, making nose and lip gestures you now have a better idea what is happening.

Security guard with gun. It was a cold day in the city (about 75°F lol)
Security guard with gun. It was a cold day in the city (about 75°F lol)

Men with guns. Don’t let this scare you. It sure frightened me the first time I visited. I never saw people sitting around so nonchalantly with a gun on their lap or hanging over their shoulders in public areas. It is quite the norm to see men, uniformed and in street clothes, standing or sitting in front of homes and businesses. Don’t be too worried. They are most likely private security guards

Do not start any altercation with anyone. No exchange of harsh words. No physical contact. Walk away. Do Not fight. This is not easy sometimes but it is best for your safety. Remember if the police get involved EVERYONE goes to jail until they figure out the details (sometimes until they get a little payment).

Make copies of all your documents. Carry the copies (unless your driving you do need the original drivers license). Put a copy of your passport or some type of identification in each piece of your luggage. Always carry a copy of your passport with you in a different place where you have the original. Have all the numbers of your credit cards and contact information in case there is a problem or your cards get stolen then you will not have to search for the information. Scan everything front and back, Credit Cards, ID’s, Bank Cards, Passports and email them to yourself. This way if anything gets lost or stolen you have all the information right there.

Keep your doors locked. Keep the hotel doors locked if you are inside or outside. Keep the car doors locked, especially when driving at night in a rental or a taxi, just keep the doors locked. You can also get an alarm to put on your
hotel door for added safety.

Think twice before taking a stranger into your hotel room or car. They can rob you much easier this way. If taking a bed partner to your room make sure all your belongings are secure. Better yet, take the person to a Cabana (a sex hotel where you are charged by the hour) or another room someplace else. This way they cannot gain access to your belongings, documents and money.