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Prepare your resources by making copies especially important when dealing with a unforeseeable crises Booking Hotels. Larger hotels usually have more elaborate security. Safety experts recommend booking or residing in a room from the second to seventh floors above ground level to deter easy entrance from outside, but low enough for fire equipment to reach. Note the credit limit on each credit card that you bring. Record and bring toll free phone numbers for each credit cards. e.g. In some countries, Americans have been arrested for innocently exceeding their credit limit. If traveling abroad, find out if your personal property insurance covers you for loss or theft. Check if your health insurance covers you abroad. If your program does not provide health Ins., consider purchasing HTH Ins (International health insurance for students). Make sure home is left secure – put interior lights and radios on timers
Safety begins when you pack. Take only what you need. To avoid being a target, dress conservatively . Adjust to local customs & dress. A flashy wardrobe or one that is too casual can mark you as a tourist or foreign student. Know airport regulations for liquids Make sure you have enough prescription medication to last your entire trip including for days of travel. Keep in their original labeled containers to avoid problems when passing through customs.
Don’t carry large amounts of cash, but have reserve cash on your person, just in case. Use travelers checks or credit cards whenever possible. Record (encrypt) serial numbers of travelers checks & credit card account info. Store this info safely – possibly online
Keep careful tabs on your plane, train, or bus tickets, they are as valuable as cash. Have a CELL PHONE Consider getting a telephone card, in case your cell phone does not function suddenly. It is a convenient way of keeping in touch.
Put your name, address and telephone numbers inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Do not identify your luggage with tags, student tags, stickers, etc. Use luggage tags to avoid casual observation of your identity. Know the TSA rules before packing Do not take any weapons (firearms, any type of edged weapons, Pepper spray, etc). If possible, lock your luggage after TSA inspection. Travel in a GROUP, whenever possible! If at all possible, have someone meet you at the airport.
Have route planned in advanced Bring a map Tell others your route before you leave Be mindful of weather Check vehicle’s fluids and tires including the spare Carry emergency items E.g. flashlight, jumper cables, blanket, batteries, flare In cold weather, travel with a shovel, ice scraper and abrasive material like sand or cat litter Always travel with a quarter-tank of gas Find a safe place to nap if sleepy – caffeine-containing beverages may improve alertness, but only for a short time Do not waste time fumbling for keys when trying to unlock the door- This gives an attacker the perfect opportunity to attack. Prior to entering a parking lot or garage, position your door key between your thumb and forefinger. Do not drive while under the influence
Do not get out of car Steer car off the road as much as possible Call or assistance immediately or place a sign in a window that says “call police” If approached, only roll down your window approximately 1 inch to speak
Keep your door locked at all times. Guard your key/keycard. Use auxiliary locking devices. Do not answer the door without knowing who is there. If a person claims to be an employee, call the front desk and verify. Do not go back to the hotel with someone you recently met
If you are alone, do not get on an elevator if there is a suspicious-looking person inside. If such a person enters while you’re alone in the elevator, get out on that same floor. Look around before entering parking lot or garages. Park near lighted walkways when possible.
Check your belongings daily. Arrange your possessions so you will know immediately if something is missing. Keep bags and backpacks in hand at all times Consider storing valuables in a safe. Some hotels and rooms have room safes. Keep up-to-date on Threats and Warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State at http://www.travel.state.gov
Do not hitchhike. Learn the location of the closest hospital, police station and friendly embassy. Carry only what you need. Carry only the cash and/or credit cards, ID’s, etc. that you need. Stay away from protest groups or any other political demonstrations. If there is a crisis in the country, such as a bombing, etc., contact your faculty advisor for guidance and family to let them know that you are “OKAY” and what you are planning to do.
Learn about and be aware of your surroundings (360 Degree Awareness). Make sure everyone in your party knows the name and telephone number of the place that you are residing. A word on ID’s (keep in your possession) and Fake ID’s (Remove any fake identification in your possession).
Carry your purse close to your body- don’t let it dangle. Carry your wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket. Don’t flash your cash or jewelry. Use a credential pouch or belly money belt. Select sightseeing companies, guides and drivers carefully. Avoid scam artists and gypsies. Be wary of strangers who approach… and offer you bargains that seem ‘too good to be true,’ or offer huge discounts or deals on tourist attractions tickets, offers to be a ‘tour guide’ or such.
Don’t use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly-lit streets. PLAN your movements, in advance. Make sure others know about your whereabouts (friends, faculty advisors, other students, etc.) Try to seem in control and assertive when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. EXPECT the Unexpected and TRUST your Instincts!
Beware of thieves like gypsies, i.e., palm readers, etc.) Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will Jostle you Ask you for directions or the time. Distract you by creating a disturbance. If you are confronted, don’t fight back. Give up your valuables. Your money, passport and property can be replaced but you cannot. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police. Keep a copy of the police report for insurance claims Minimize the opportunity for this and reduce its impact by not wearing lots of jewelry or carrying unnecessary items.
Medical Problems/prescriptive medications Petty Theft, Theft of passport or personal documents, Pickpockets, scam artists, etc. Sleeping on train or bus and having valuables stolen. Robbery with the intent to use your credit card for illegal purchases. Using unlicensed Taxi Cabs – Make sure the Taxi is licensed with a telephone #
Trust your instincts, don’t let your guard down. Vacations can create a false sense of security and community Form a buddy system – arrive together, check-in with one another, and leave together. Make a secret "butt in" signal with your friends, talk about when the friend should intervene and agree to use it for uncomfortable situations. Don't be afraid to let a friend know if something is making you uncomfortable or if you are worried about your or your friend's safety. Establish a meeting spot in the event your friends get separated. Avoid being alone or isolated with a stranger. Use any excuse you can think of to get out of a difficult situation. Check out your surroundings before you go out and learn a well-lit route back to your hotel or rental property. Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be aware of what's going on around you, especially if you are walking alone. Practice safe drinking Always carry emergency cash and local numbers for cab companies
When you leave the United States, you are subject to the laws of the country where you are. Therefore, before you go, learn as much as you can about the local laws and customs of the places you plan to visit. Be cautious when taking pictures. When in doubt, ASK FIRST! Alcohol and Controlled Substance Abuse can lead to legal problems and/or jail time. Criminal Conduct will lead to real problems in your life that the U.S. will not be able to resolve for you. Think before you act. Your freedom depends on it.
Wherever you are, be aware of your surroundings. The very nature of terrorism suggests there may be little or no warning. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior. Do not accept packages from strangers. Do not leave luggage unattended. Unusual behavior, suspicious packages and strange devices should be promptly reported to the police or security personnel. Do not be afraid to move or leave if you feel uncomfortable or if something does not seem right. Learn where emergency exits are located in buildings you frequent. Notice where exits are when you enter unfamiliar buildings. Plan how to get out of a building, subway or congested public area or traffic. Note where staircases are located. Notice heavy or breakable objects that could move, fall or break in an explosion.
U.S. Department of State - Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) U.S. citizens around the world who travel or reside abroad can access this site either through a link at https://step.state.gov/step/ The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Can also subscribe to receive updates on Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts and other information for a particular country.
Travel Safety Presentation
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
Travel itinerary, phone numbers, agendas, flight numbers, rental car
information, passport, driver’s license, etc.
Book rooms with larger hotels
Second to seventh floors are best
Know you limit with credit cards
Check your insurance
Make sure home is left secure
Prepare to be safe before you leave
Clothes & Toiletries
Take only what you need
Adjust attire to local customs
Know regulations for liquids
Bring enough to last
Use original labeled
Packing the Essentials
Do not carry large amounts BUT have reserve
Use travelers checks or credit cards
Record serial numbers of account information
Traveling with Money
Keeps tabs on plane, train and bus tickets
Have a cell phone
Consider buying a telephone card
Tickets and Telephone Cards
Write contact information on luggage
Do not identify luggage with tags, student tags, stickers, etc.
Know the TSA rules before packing
If possible, lock luggage after TSA inspection
Travel in groups
If possible, have someone meet you at
Departing And Arriving
Have route planned in advanced
Check vehicle’s fluids and tires
Carry emergency items
Find a safe place to nap if sleepy
Do not waste time fumbling for keys when trying to unlock the
Do not drive while under the influence
Traveling by Car
Do not get out of car
Steer car off the road as much as possible
Call for assistance immediately
If approached, only roll down your window
Break Down on the Road
Keep doors locked
Use auxiliary locking devices
Answer the door for people you know
Do not go back to the hotel with someone you
If alone, do not get on an elevator if there is a suspicious-
Look around before entering parking lots or garages
Park near lighted walkways
Elevators and Parking
Check belongings daily
Keep bags and backpacks in hand at all times
Store valuables in room’s safe
Keep up-to-date on travel advisories issued by the U.S.
Department of State
During the Day
Do not hitchhike
Know locations for closest hospital, police station
Carry only what you need
Stay clear of protest groups and political demonstrations
During the Day Continued
360 degree awareness
Inform everyone of the names and telephone numbers of
Do not carry fake ID’s
Know your surroundings
Carry purses and belongings close to body
Carry wallet inside coat or front trouser pocket
Do not flash cash or jewelry
Use a credential pouch or money belt
Select sightseeing companies, guides and
Avoid scam artists and gypsies
Do not use short cuts, narrow alleys or
Plan route in advance
Make sure others know about your whereabouts
Appear in control and assertive
If lost, act as if you know where you are going
Trust your instincts
Safety on the Street
Beware of thieves, palm readers and pickpockets
Often have accomplices who may…
Ask you for directions or the time
Distract you by creating a disturbance
If confronted, do not fight back
If possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately
to local police
Minimize risk by carrying less items
Pickpockets and Thieves
Prescription medications are unavailable
Theft of passports or personal documents
Having valuables stolen while sleeping on train
Using unlicensed taxi cabs
Examples of Past Problems
Trust your instincts
Form a buddy system
Avoid being alone or isolated with a stranger
Practice safe drinking
Always carry emergency cash and local numbers for cab
Sexual Assault and kidnappings
Educate yourself on local laws and customs
Ex. Ask before taking pictures
Alcohol and controlled substances can lead to legal
problems or jail time
U.S. will not always be able to resolve criminal conduct
Think before you act
Terrorism comes with little or no warning
Be aware or conspicuous or unusual behavior
Leave if you feel uncomfortable or something does not
Take note of emergency exits and staircases
Take notice of heavy or breakable objects that could fall or
break in an explosion
Preparing for Possible terrorism
Call local police
Call Oversees Citizens Services
1 – 202-501-4444
Contact International SOS 24/7
Contact nearest American embassy or consulate
In trouble or need help
Register with Department of State
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Internet Sites on Travel
Crime Prevention Unit
Officer Layne Brewster
Officer Jimmy Moore Jr.
Questions and concerns about health and safety abroad: contact UT Study