HIGH RISK DESTINATIONS – BE SAFE, BE PREPARED

22 May 2018

Escalating global insecurity is a reality every business traveller should be aware of and prepare for. The level of insecurity may vary significantly within a country, a province or even a city.

Therefore do your research. Find out factors such as your destination’s crime rate, possible civil unrest, war, acts of terrorism, potential for natural disasters, etc. Armed with knowledge, you can now plan accordingly. Here are five tips to consider before embarking on your trip.

1. Stay in contact

Your company provides you with security directives and, if incidents occur, issues travel warnings. Adhere to them. And save your emergency contact numbers on speed dial, especially in high risk areas. These numbers include your hotel, local police and hospital as well as your company’s travel management company (TMC).

2. Safeguard important documents

Carry your passport on you or keep it with other essential documents in the hotel safe. If trouble erupts, you may not immediately be able to retrieve your belongings. Should your documents go missing or are inaccessible, have scanned electronic copies of essential documents available on a secure cloud drive you can access remotely.

3. Have an emergency bag

If trouble is indeed brewing, pack an easy-to-carry back pack that includes your documentation, a first aid kit, small denomination bank notes (preferably U.S. dollars), bottled water and rations. Wear clothes that don’t restrict movement. And stay calm. Let your security team, your employer and your family know where you are and that you are safe.

4. Stay mobile

When in the midst of potential danger, your mobile phone is your crucial tool of communication. In all probability electricity will be restricted. Therefore change screen brightness and data settings to preserve battery life. If possible, carry an external power pack or get solar or wind up chargers.

5. Be aware

Lastly, allow common sense to prevail. Avoid displaying any unnecessary signs of wealth or affluence. Follow your company’s directives and warnings precisely. For example, if they inform you that road travel should only be undertaken in daylight hours, do so. Vary routines, be discrete with your itinerary and be alert to any signs of surveillance by third parties.