Tens of thousands of
Westerners travel or are resident overseas. For most this is an incident-free
experience but the best laid plans can be upset by a number of problems. Some
are impossible to foresee or avoid so, by planning ahead and arming yourself
with the right information, you can reduce the risks you might encounter
Before you leave your country - check your passport has at least
6 months' validity
Many countries require a passport to be
valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure from the country.
If you do not have 6 months validity on your passport, you may be stranded
overseas as a result of being refused entry to a country, or offloaded at a
transit point, and you will need to apply for an Emergency Travel Document or
replacement passport in order to continue your travels.
You should check
with the Embassy of any country you are visiting or transiting through for passport validity requirements,
visa requirements and any other requirements for entry. Make sure you have at
least one clear page in your passport for immigration stamps.
Take a copy of the personal details page of your passport with you and leave a
copy at home with a trusted friend or family member.
Itinerary and other documents
Give a detailed copy of your itinerary,
including accommodation details, and your travel insurance policy to a relative
or friend so they are able to get in touch with you if necessary or access your
insurance provider if required. Remember, if you change your itinerary; do let
your relatives/friends know. Keep them updated.
Make copies of other important documents
such as your birth certificate, credit cards and driver's licence, both to take
with you and to leave at home with a trusted friend or family member.
a mixture of money with you
Don't rely on
a single form of money - for example, take cash, travellers' cheques and a
credit card. Allow enough to cover emergencies. Don't keep all your money in
May 2011, the President of the United States announced that Al
Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been killed during a US military operation
in Pakistan. The US has issued a
Worldwide Travel Alert warning of the enhanced potential for violence given
recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan.
We advise all Westerners residing in or
travelling to areas where anti-Western violence could occur to exercise
enhanced vigilance, monitor local news, avoid public gatherings and
demonstrations, and stay away from areas where they may take place, as they
could turn violent without warning.
Western Nations-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Trade have advised all their Embassies and Consulates of the need for
We strongly recommend that you register your
travel plans and contact details with your Embassy or Consulate so they can
contact you in an emergency.
Travel Risk Assessment
which Westerners face in travelling are dependent both on the individual
characteristics of the traveller (language competence, profession, experience,
gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality and sexual orientation) and on
circumstances in the destination country. The most important risks are:
traffic accidents, natural disasters and hazards, and extreme climatic
physical attacks, extortion and arrest by authorities) and
civil unrest and acts of
If you travel to an unfamiliar area, make it a habit to:
1 Discuss with your family what they would do in the event of an emergency.
2. Make sure your affairs are in order before leaving home.
3. Register with your embassy or consulate upon arrival.
4. Remain friendly but be cautious about discussing personal matters, your itinerary or program.
5. Leave no personal or business papers in your hotel room.
6. Watch for people following you or "loiterers" observing your comings and goings.
7. Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, hospitals.
8. Let someone else know what your travel plans are. Keep them informed if you change your plans.
9. Avoid predictable times and routes of travel and report any suspicious activity to local police, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
10. Select your own taxicabs at random. Don't take a vehicle that is not clearly identified as a taxi. Compare the face of the driver with the one posted on his or her license.
11.If possible, travel with others.
12. Be sure of the identity of visitors before opening the door of your hotel room. Don't meet strangers at unknown or remote locations.
13.Refuse unexpected packages.
14. Formulate a plan of action for what you will do if a bomb explodes or there is gunfire nearby.
15. Check for loose wires or other suspicious activity around your car.
16. Be sure your vehicle is in good operating condition in case you need to resort to high-speed or evasive driving.
17. Drive with car windows closed in crowded streets. Bombs can be thrown through open windows.
18.If you are ever in a situation where somebody starts shooting, drop to the floor or get down as low as possible. Don't move until you are sure the danger has passed. Do not attempt to help rescuers and do not pick up a weapon. If possible, shield yourself behind or under a solid object. If you must move, crawl on your stomach.
Surviving a Terror Attack
Travelers involved or close to a
terror incident are advised to exercise heightened security awareness and to
follow the directives of local authorities. Here are a few safety first tips:
·Stay within the confines of your residence or
·Do not go out into the public streets.
·Be alert to local news developments.
·Adhere to any imposed curfews or security restrictions.
·Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behaviour. Unusual
behaviour and strange devices should be reported to the police or security
·If you are in a building located close to the site of a
terrorist attack, stay away from the windows.
·If in the vicinity of an attack, do not stay to watch what
is happening, as you will only get in the way of the emergency services. There
is also a risk that additional attacks may occur.
·Make a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations
If there's a bomb blast
·Leave the area as soon as possible
·Do not run you may be suspected as the bomber. If you are
in a crowd stay at the fringes.
·Stay clear of glass shop fronts.
·If you are injured attend to yourself before others.
·Obey all instructions and orders that are given by local
police or security force.
·Make your way to a pre planned secure area.
·If you return to your hotel stay away from the windows.
·Listen to television and radio reports.
·Contact family or friends and let them know your
·Write down what you saw before and after the blast it may
help the authorities in their investigation.
If you are injured
If you are injured or become ill please seek medical aid within
2 hours or less.
Be aware that any functioning
hospitals and clinics will be busy caring for large numbers of people who have
been injured in the incident.
Before visiting a country where
there is a risk of terrorism you should first obtain as much information on
that country as possible.
·When you arrive, stay away from those areas that may have
been the target of terrorism in the past.
·Identify the main tourist areas and stay away from those
which appear less secure.
·Make yourself aware of your surroundings. Be aware of
the conduct of people near to you.
·Stay away from large gatherings or demonstrations.
·Know the telephone numbers of local police, hospitals and
your Embassy or Consulate.
·If you are with friends identify a rendezvous point to
meet should there be an incident.
·Prepare a plan to evacuate should there be an
·Know the telephone numbers of local transport and hire car