How to Prepare for Worldwide Travel Alerts
On Friday August 2, 2013 the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Alert for U.S. citizens informing them that there is continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa and possibly in the Arabian Peninsula. The Travel Alert will expire on August 31, 2013 unless otherwise noted.
What is a Travel Alert?
The US Department of State may issue travel warnings or alerts when they have reason to believe that conditions within a country or region make it dangerous for Americans to travel. Conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable may result in the closure U.S. embassies or consulates which would directly affect the Government’s ability to help American citizens. It is very important to consider the risk of traveling in any country where an alert or warning has been issued.
How do I stay safe?
According to Security Advisor, Chris E. McGoey, “All [travelers] visiting high-risk areas should have made contigency plans for trip interruption or cancellation.” Our top priority is to make sure you are safe while traveling abroad. One of the ways we can do that is to make sure you have all the tools and information you need in order to be well informed. We’ve comprised a list of things that every volunteer should know prior to traveling:
1. Make sure you have your Volunteer Travel Insurance purchased before you go. You should also consider purchasing Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance for additional coverage.
2. Enroll your trip in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program . STEP gives you the latest security updates and gives the nearest U.S. consulate the ability to contact you in an emergency. You can also do this in person with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate
3. International travelers should regularly monitor the the Department of State’s website where worldwide caution, county specific information, travel warnings, and travel alerts can be found. You may also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
4. Download the free Smart Traveler app for your smart-phone so that you have up-to-date information wherever you go.