Crime Never Takes a Vacation: Travel Emergency Preparedness Planning
Emergency preparedness is important even when you travel—life doesn’t take a vacation, and neither do crimes, disasters, and emergencies.
Here’s how to prepare for an enjoyable—and safe—trip:
Get Copies: Your passport is extremely valuable on the black market in many other countries. So take extra precautions with it. Take along an extra passport photo (even a set) and a copy of your passport, especially the information page.
Usually other identification is stolen along with the passport, so be sure to also make emergency back-up copies of your driver’s license, credit cards, bank debit cards, etc. For extra emergency preparedness, leave at least 1 copy of all documents with a friend or family member. Consider storing these extra copies on a secure off-line server such as PrepareWell SafeDocs.
Put all copies in a separate place from your originals. House them in the hotel safe for maximum preparedness.
Check the Warnings
Before you depart, go to the U.S. State Department website and check for any travel warnings for the places you are about to visit. Also look at the nation-specific information—it will give you a wealth of knowledge about the area you will be visiting. It will also aid you immensely in your emergency preparedness efforts by letting you know about any political disturbances, security information, crime statistics, even any unusual health conditions you need to be aware of. Make note of the emergency phone numbers for the U.S. embassy and consulate and take them with you on the trip.
Secure Your Home
Don’t forget to take emergency preparedness precautions with your home and its valuables, too. Most home burglaries occur in August, a common vacation month. Lock up the house and activate the alarm if you have one. It may be a good idea to have a trusted friend or family member periodically check the place as well.
Don’t Display Wealth
To prevent a theft or other emergency before it happens, take care not to dress too affluently or display expensive jewelry. This can make you a target for thieves.
Practice Street Smarts
Be smart on the streets for maximum emergency preparedness. Know where you are going before you step outside, dress down, and travel light. Only bring what is absolutely necessary—not a large amount of cash, extra jewelry, or baggage.
Remember vacation emergency preparedness starts at home and can make all the difference between a thrilling lifetime memory and disappointment and regret. Pack light, be prepared, and don’t forget to have some fun, too!