Sadly the risk of being involved in a terror incident has increased in today’s world. Despite this increased threat, the consistent theme that characterises us all is our determination to carry on travelling and enjoying what life has to offer. So it’s important to know what you can do to help prepare and protect yourself and your loved ones if you are unfortunate enough to get caught up in one.
Although everyone hopes that they are never involved in a terrorist attack abroad, by being prepared before you travel – wherever you travel – can increase your chances of safety and survival.
The sad fact is that nowhere is completely risk free and we know from bitter experience that attacks can occur anywhere; at any time; and in the most unexpected places, such as concert venues, restaurants, shopping areas.
If you are shortly heading off on your travels, you can prepare yourself by checking out these smart safety tips:
Before you Travel
1. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice provides per country information on safety, security and risks including terrorist activity. This will help you make an informed decision about what you might face and where to select for your next trip.
2. An important safeguard before travelling is to purchase travel insurance that includes terrorism as one of the covered perils. Not all policies do and some make you pay extra, so check carefully before you choose. Don’t expect to be covered if you are travelling to a location that is against FCO or other recognised Government bodies advice. Also your Travel Insurance will not cover you if you buy it after an event has occurred and then try to cancel your holiday because you don’t want to travel to the affected area.
3. Avoid booking a trip that has a stop-over at high-risk airports.
4. Keep the contact details of local emergency services, your nearest embassy, the police and your insurance company.
5. Let family, or friends know your itinerary and contact details so that the embassy can be advised if there is a problem I your location, or back home.
6. Always be aware of your surrounding and report suspicious activities to the police.
When you get there
Last summer the Met Police issued safety advice. Their mantra is “Run, Hide, Tell”. View their short video at www.npcc.police.uk.
RUN to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate. If there’s nowhere to go, then…
It’s better to HIDE than to confront. Remember to turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. Barricade yourself in if you can. Then finally and only when it is safe to do so…
TELL the police by calling 999.
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. Be aware of the suspicious or unusual behaviour of people around you.
- Always know your fastest exit route from your accommodation and any other venue you may attend.
- Prepare an evacuation plan when in busy tourist locations and always have a rendezvous point agreed in case you get separated from your travel companions.
- Consider staying away from areas that may have been a prime target for terrorists in the past.
- Stay away from large gatherings and demonstrations.
- If you end up in the vicinity of an attack, get away from the area. You may hinder the emergency services and there may be a risk of a further attack.
- Make a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hospitals
- If in a building close to the site of a terrorist attack, keep away from the windows.
Terrorism is a difficult subject because however careful and vigilant you are, it still doesn’t prevent terrorist activity. However, by choosing your location carefully, staying alert, following our tips and purchasing travel insurance, you can improve your safety and security while travelling.