Tips on How To Stay Safe When Traveling - ABC 13
In the wake of the Nice attack, the U.S. Embassy in Paris is urging American citizens to be vigilant, exercise caution at large gatherings, and take steps to “bolster their personal security.” Yesterday morning, Houston's ABC 13 interviewed 360 Worldwide Security, asking: "How do we keep families and ourselves safe while traveling at home and abroad?"
"In the security world, we weren't surprised that the guy got in a truck and ran through a crowd of people," explained Robert Corson, President of 360 Worldwide Security.
"The bad guys, the terrorists, they don't have a lot of tools at their disposal and they will use anything they can to conduct an attack."
The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, and reminds them of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourism infrastructure.
Corson cautions that terrorists are able to cause the most damage in unsecured areas with large crowds.
"Try and avoid the big landmark touristy places. There's a lot to see — go out and see some of those other places, avoid those long lines," he suggests.
When booking a hotel room, travelers should also request rooms on the third through seventh floors, high enough to avoid violence on the street level, yet low enough to still evacuate safely in the event of a fire.
Remember to register with the free STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) with the Department of State. This service will allow you to receive important safety information about your destination, enable the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency, and help family and friends get in touch with you in the aftermath of an incident.
Overall, 360 Worldwide Security encourages travelers to become informed about their destinations, be aware of areas of concern, utilize local knowledge, and be prepared with emergency plans before they travel. It's worth looking into emergency alert systems hosted by the nations your are visiting, for example, in Japan, there is an excellent earthquake early warning system, those services can add an extra layer of protection and provide you with relevant information during a disaster.
Additionally, Mr. Corson advises travelers to exercise common sense. Be aware of your surroundings and attempt to blend in whenever possible.