Frequently Asked Questions
1. What devices do you support for your services?
GEOS supports a wide range of devices, both Satellite and Cellular based for our integrated services. For a current list of supported devices click here.
2. What is the cost of monitoring by the International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC)?
There is NO cost to you as the end user of the device for emergency monitoring by the IERCC; the device or application provider covers this cost.
3. Do I have to sign up for Search and Rescue (SAR) benefit for my device to be monitored by the IERCC in case of emergency?
While the answer is no, we strongly suggest you also purchase the SAR benefit to help offset possible expenses when you do have an emergency, especially if you are traveling to another country. It is a very affordable plan and one that many of our members are thankful they had when they had an emergency. Please visit the SAR Benefit page.
4. How does the IERCC know who to contact in case of emergency?
First, the IERCC has an extensive database and relationships with first response agencies and Rescue Coordination Centers around the Globe. The IERCC will contact the appropriate responsible agency based on incident information such as incident location coordinates, aviation or maritime incident, or other information available to the IERCC.
Second, when the IERCC receives and alert from your device, information that you have entered into your profile is immediately available to them, such as emergency contacts. You have the ability in your profile to enter up to two of them and we strongly advise you to do so. It is up to you to a) keep the emergency contact information updated and b) ensure, if you are taking a trip, your emergency contacts have information about where you are going, for how long and information about the number in your party. This can all help to expedite a response in case of emergency. For more information about how to best use your device profile, please visit the IERCC Tips page.
5. I have read that the IERCC is a commercial entity and not a government organization, does that make a difference in case of emergency?
While it is true that the IERCC is a U.S. based company, the IERCC interacts with a number of international governments to ensure our protocols and procedures are best in class. We operate in the same model as the COSPAS-SARSAT system (Used for EPIRB and PLB activations) and IAMSAR, meaning we are contacting the same agencies and resources that a government-owned alerting post would be. That is what we are, an alerting post and we have access to the same resources as those governmental bodies. In fact, we sit on many of the same committees and attend the same meetings as our government counterparts and enjoy a good working relationship with them. Additionally, here in the United States we work closely with the National Search and Rescue Committee (NSARC) and the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM), as well as other committees. The leadership of the IERCC also attends international meetings of the global Rescue Coordination Centers.
6. I am about to take a trip, how do I know that in case of emergency the IERCC will know who to contact?
The IERCC has successfully coordinated rescues in over 130 countries to date and have the global contacts required to ensure the best possible response. While the IERCC has a vast database of contact information and relationships worldwide, changing geo-political activities, civil uprising and other factors outside of our control may impact the access to emergency response resources. GEOS and the IERCC do their best at keeping up to date on geographical areas where there may be limited access. For an up to date listing please see our Country Alerts page. The IERCC has many tips to ensure that the best possible information is supplied by you to aid us in any/all situations, please refer to the IERCC Tips page.
7. I want to ensure that my device is working correctly and that a distress signal will be sent in case of emergency can I press the 911/SOS button to test?
Please do NOT press the 911/SOS button to test as this will alert the IERCC and if we are unable to make immediate contact with you resources will be sent to your location immediately. Most of the devices supported also have additional functionality such as OK and HELP functions, you can edit your device profile to add an SMS or EMAIL contact, then, press the associated button on your device. This will generate a message to the contact you assigned in your profile. Once that message is received you know that your device is working and that the IERCC will receive an emergency alert. More details can be found by visiting the IERCC Tips page.
8. What if I am going to a non-English speaking country or I do not speak English?
The IERCC has near immediate access to a live interpretation service where we support over 200 languages and dialects. We will instantly connect with this service based on the information in your profile (under citizenship and address) and the location position data that we receive. Here is a complete list of languages available to the IERCC personnel from our interpretation partner.
9. I want to loan my device to a friend or family member, how will you know they are the ones with the device in case of emergency?
It is best if you edit your device profile on the vendors website to indicate that someone else is using the device. Some of the device suppliers have a specific area where you can enter that information. If your supplier doesn’t have that specific information field specified, go to the “Additional Information” area and enter all pertinent information there. See IERCC Tips for more detail about how to use the “Additional Information” field.
10. I have a medical condition and/or I am on medication, how can I be sure that the IERCC knows this in case of emergency?
There are a couple of different things you can do that are highly recommended by the IERCC staff. First, use the “Additional Information” area in your device profile to provide all pertinent health, medication and other information so that the IERCC sees this when and if an emergency alert from your device comes in.
Second, ensure that your emergency contacts that you have listed in your profile are fully aware of your medical condition or medications that you are taking. If you are traveling overseas, make sure that you not only bring enough of your medication with you, but that you also bring an original copy of your prescription, signed by your physician with you in case you need to acquire more while traveling. See the IERCC Tips page for more tips on using the additional information field.
11. When should I press the 911/SOS button?
The 911/SOS button should only be used in case of life threatening emergency. Most supported devices also have a HELP function for non-life threatening emergency situations. The HELP function is typically set up to notify a list or group of friends or family members that may be near by to render non-Emergency aid. Consider the 911/SOS feature/button the same as 911 or your local “emergency” number.
12. Is the GEOS Search and Rescue (SAR) Benefit an insurance policy?
The GEOS SAR Benefit is a membership program, offered exclusively to GEOS customers. GEOS Worldwide, Ltd. is insured through Lloyd’s of London to offer this special and affordable benefit to our members. This membership program can be purchased at time of device registration on participating partner websites, or direct from GEOS at the GEOS SAR Membership page.
13. Can I add family members to my SAR benefit membership?
Yes, family members can be added to your existing or new SAR benefit membership. Complete information can be found by going to the SAR Membership page.
14. Can a company offer the SAR benefit membership to employees?
Yes, businesses can participate in the SAR benefit Business Members plan the same as individuals and families. Complete information can be found by going to the SAR Membership page.
15. I have been looking at Medical Evacuation Insurance and some companies claim that they have on call medical staff; Doctors and Nurses available to assist in evaluating medical conditions in case of emergency. Does GEOS offer the same in its Medical Evacuation Program?
Yes, when the IERCC is alerted to the emergency situation they have access to our Medivac medical staff (Doctors and Nurses) and evacuation specialists to assist in medical evaluation, evacuation planning, etc.
16. What are the annual costs of your membership programs?
For the most up-to-date pricing information please visit the associated pages on this site under GEOS Offerings. Worldwide SAR Membership information can be found here, or Worldwide Medical Evacuation information here.
17. My Medical Evacuation insurance provider says they can help me anytime I “call”, what makes GEOS different?
In many situations you may not be able to make that call. Certain companies require that the person seeking services be on the phone with them. What if you are incapacitated, what if you are in a remote area and can’t call? With GEOS you can carry a dedicated alerting device that alerts us that there is an emergency and utilizing our international rescue coordination center database we get help to you immediately. This means getting medical, rescue or security personnel to YOU, eliminating the requirement that YOU get to THEM. If further assistance is needed and you have subscribed to any of our other services, the command team at the IERCC is able to coordinate those assets on your behalf giving you one last thing to worry about.
If you were unable to find the answer to your question here in the FAQ area, please go to the contact us page and select the option to send us a question.