When you travel, you and your property can be subjected to a variety of threats such as those of a criminal variety, espionage and terrorism. All these dangers require that you take appropriate steps to increase your safety and security, and mitigate risks when you are away from your home and office.
Try to determine the nature of potential threats to you and your property before you embark on a trip. Situational awareness is critical to your ability to protect yourself and your property.
Here is a list of steps you will want to consider.
Before You Travel:
- Learn a little about the place you’re going to and the people you’re likely to meet. Look for and read travel advisories and consult with your company’s security and travel department (if available). In the absence of in-house services, visit the US Department of State’s website for very well developed advisory and warning information..
- Make sure that you have access to a bi-lingual phrase book (you can download the right one to your smartphone).
- Check for the availability of emergency alert technologies (e.g., satellite phones, personal tracking systems). If you’re travelling off the beaten path, don’t be shy about requesting and using such technologies.
- Create an accurate and detailed itinerary and share it with work colleagues and family (for emergency purposes).
- Make copies of your passport and other essential documents/cards and keep them secure. Keep one copy with you (separate from the originals), and give another copy to a trusted person who will be able to send them to you fast in case you need them.
- Prepare a digital copy of all the business documents you’ll need for the trip and give a copy with an emergency contact.
- If you’re traveling to poor, high-crime locations, make sure you’re not displaying any fancy jewelry and other expensive items. If you brought them with you, leave them in the hotel’s safe.
- Mind the religious and cultural sensitivities of your hosts; pack sensible and politically neutral clothes. Avoid T-shirts and windbreakers with images or phrases that could offend people.
Watch out for our next installment on travel safety with additional sensible advice for increasing your safety and security while on location.
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