You’ve got your ticket to a far-off destination and are excited to experience another culture. While making your preparations, one of the things you need to consider is how you might need to deal with a crisis while traveling abroad. Even a seasoned traveler can be caught off-guard in the midst of a major catastrophe or experience a serious and sudden health emergency. The following four tips can help you better prepare for any crisis scenario that might arise.
Know the National Emergency Telephone Number
When a crisis occurs, the human brain enters into the fight-or-flight response. Your brain’s hypothalamus triggers a chain reaction in which your glands are stimulated to secrete multiple hormones. Your pupils dilate, your heart and respiratory rates skyrocket, and you become exponentially more alert to your surroundings. When you’re in this state, it can be easy to forget to do what you would otherwise logically do, which is to call for help. This is why it is helpful to keep the national emergency telephone number for the country you will be in on you at all times. For example, if you’re traveling to the United Kingdom, you should know to dial 999 instead of 911, although your call will get redirected from 911 to 999 if you’re using a mobile phone.
Use Your Diplomatic Skills
It’s a smart idea to have some diplomacy skills in your traveling toolbox. Even though it’s easy to lose your cool in a crisis situation, remaining as calm as possible and dealing with that country’s citizens in a tactful and sensitive way can help everyone involved in the crisis. Even if you aren’t directly impacted by the crisis, be sensitive to those who are.
Keep Documentation on You at All Times
Regardless of where you are going, why you’re going there, or how long you intend to stay, you need to keep your personal information on you at all times. This includes your passport, and it is a good idea to print off a copy of your passport and other identification pieces before you leave your country. Also, all medications should be clearly marked and carried upon your person. If you have a serious medical condition, keep a written statement on you at all times indicating what your condition is and what a person should do if they find you ill or unresponsive.
Be Aware of Potential Weather/Climate Hazards before You Go
Wherever you travel, do research beforehand so that you can be prepared to encounter that region’s weather. If you are going somewhere that is prone to receiving tropical storms, know beforehand whether you will be going during that region’s storm season. You can prepare an emergency travel kit and take it with you, and always keep in touch with someone back home to let them know that you are okay should a climate-related crisis occur.
When in doubt, contact the local embassy for your home country. If you are an American traveling abroad, you should not have much trouble contacting a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Remember to keep your loved ones at home updated throughout the course of your travels, and if a crisis arises, keep as calm and diplomatic as possible.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. Dixie recommends consulting someone with a master’s in international relations and diplomacy for more information on diplomacy skills.