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Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other ecosystem changes, like COVID-19, are occurring more frequently and with greater magnitude than ever before, causing ever-increasing levels of damage and disruption at a global level.  Who knew that a microscopic virus could cause such a major, rapidly moving pandemic around the world, leading to outcomes ranging from toilet paper shortages to death?  

Wherever you are, wherever you travel, be aware of the risks and be prepared.

Be Aware of Safe Locations

Before you set off, learn about what kinds of emergencies or disasters are prominent in your area of destination. Then align on a safe location where you and your co-travelers can meet if things get a bit apocalyptic. I have a mobile phone, you say?  Don’t count on them. Whether it be 9/11, the 2015 financial crisis in Greece, or a Thursday afternoon in Dunhua China, devices aren’t always reliable, particularly during a crisis.

Check Travel Advisories

As you plan your trip, keep an eye out for emergency warnings about your intended destination. You can find current information at the Travel Advisories website. The information is updated regularly, but you can choose how you prefer to receive updates. You can sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and receive emails about emergencies in that part of the world. Provide specific information when you sign up, such as your intended date and time of arrival and departure, to make the best use of the website’s capabilities. You can sort through countries with travel advisories by country, emergency level, or date.

Prepare a Travel Emergency Kit

Preparing a travel emergency kit and taking it with you to your destination can provide you and your loved ones with crucial aid, particularly when you travel to second or third world countries. These countries often lack the emergency response systems that citizens of first-world countries like the United States take for granted. Along with this first aid kit, keep important numbers and emergency contacts as well as your passport(s) and other documents. You never know when a serious emergency will occur that requires quickly leaving the country or moving to another district that isn’t affected.