When You Travel

In a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognize the opportunity. – John F. Kennedy

When you travel you are often in unknown territory…out of the area for which you have done your disaster planning and preparation. You may even be in an area where one or more foreign languages are spoken. In most instances you will not possess the local knowledge of area-specific risks unless you take time to asses them before your departure. Except in the most general way, any evacuation plans you have made at home will not apply when you are on the road. There are, however, many things you can do to protect yourself and those traveling with you if a disaster does occur.

Before You Go – Think

When you’re planning a trip, think about what you would do if disaster struck while you were traveling. This will increase your awareness so that, if the worst does happen, you will remain in a position to make good decisions.

Before You Leave

Review the current social and political situations at your destination(s):

The U.S. Department of State puts out travel advisories and warnings at http://travel.state.gov/

Do your own research by reviewing English-language publications online that cover local and regional news. If the worst happens, armed with your research, you’ll remain calm and in a position to make rational decisions.

Spend a few moments reviewing your Personal Preaction™ Plan with the adults in your household:

A calm assessment and a few reminders in advance will go a long way toward reassuring your family if a real emergency arises during your absence.

On a plane:

Review the emergency pamphlet in the seat pocket in front of you regardless of the number of times you have flown. When was the last time you paid attention to how many rows away you were (both front and back) from an exit?

When on a boat:

Note the location of exits, windows, etc.

Position yourself appropriately if you feel the vessel is overcrowded or you suspect the number of passengers exceeds capacity. (This happens more frequently than you might think!)

Next>> Month 12: Your Itinerary