TRAVEL TO HIGH – RISK AREAS

There is no country on earth that can be described as completely safe. However, some countries are known to be less safe than others.

Travelling to high-risk areas may put you at increased risk of serious injury and being the victim of terrorism and theft.  As such you should strongly consider avoiding those countries altogether.

In many such the high-risk areas even the embassy of your country may not be help you in an emergency. This may be due to poor law enforcement, ineffective policies of local authorities, armed conflict, poor governance or even due to a lack of a functioning government.

If you do decide to visit high-risk areas, we list some of the precautions adventurous travellers take before they leave home:

Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and power of attorney. 

Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care and custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc. 

Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. 

Learn how to use your phone or other smart devices to share your location with your friends and family while you are abroad.  

Establish a personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization or consider consulting with a professional security organization. 

 Develop a communication plan with your family, employer, and host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location. This plan should specify who you would contact first, and how they should share the information. 

Identify key sources of assistance for you and your family in case of an emergency, such as the local embassy or consulate, your employer (if traveling on business), and local friends and family in the high-risk area.  

Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, they will know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax). 

Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them. 

Erase sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups. 

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