The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels provided a very important reminder to those who love to travel: it’s vital to be prepared when it comes to travelling and the possibility of terrorism.
MSN reports for those who may be visiting a city that has been hit by a terrorist attack, there are certainly differing challenges that they may face, opposed to those who reside in the city. Depending on where you are travelling to, there may be language barriers, which can turn into a larger issue of gaining access to information. However, perhaps the best way to combat any situation is to plan ahead, and below is an overview provided by government agencies and other experts about travelling and terrorism:
• Share your travel plans with friends, family, or co-workers back home, before you leave for your trip. Provide them with hotel information, cities you may be going to, and other plans. Should something happen, there is then a way for someone to know your whereabouts and track you down.
• American travellers can sign up to the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This can help U.S. embassy officials and family members reach out to you if terror strikes. Those enrolled receive automatic alerts about things transpiring, on the ground.
• Experts advise travelers to head back to their hotel during or after a terrorist attack, via a taxi. Public transit is not advised, and of course, fleeing the scene immediately, rather than going back to the site of the attack, is highly recommended.
• Stay at your hotel until everything settles. Hotels can offer shelter, safety, refuge, food, internet (for information purposes), and a sense of security.
• Stay up-to-date with local news. This may mean keeping the television on, and perusing the local news station; or following one of the local authorities on social media sites to stay abreast of developing information.
• If you are unable to follow the news because of language issues, try finding social media sites from foreign affairs organizations in your own country. Twitter and Facebook are excellent resources.
Last but not least, stay optimistic, and be patient. You may have to stay locked up in your hotel for a while, and travel plans may have to be reorganized. As frustrating (and frightening) as the entire situation may be, it is important to follow the advice of local authorities when it comes to travel recommendations; they really do have everyone’s best interests at heart. Most off all, remember that it may take time for them to sort everything out, in order to ensure the safety of their citizens and visitors alike.