Haiti, Chile, Indonesia – those are just the recent earthquakes that caught many travelers in the path of Mother Nature and the ensuing chaos. If a natural disaster strikes when you are on your next international vacation, will rescue workers know to look for you? Will you have what you need with you to be able to survive until they reach you?
Several resources you need: US Dept. of State Travel Registration
“Travel registration is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Registration allows you to record information about your upcoming trip abroad that the Department of State can use to assist you in case of an emergency.”
Scan your Passport! Carry an electronic version in your smart phone IF YOU CAN LOCK THE FILE. Either way, leave an electronic file at home with a trusted family member, friend, neighbor or even your boss at work. If you lose your passport due to theft or disaster, the copy just makes it faster and easier for the US Embassy to help you get a replacement.
Also leave a copy of your itinerary with the same person. If they hear of a disaster in the news in the area where you are traveling, they can touch base with you. If they aren’t able to reach you, they can use this information to dispatch aid.
Emergency Kit: Relief Pod Internationalhas been providing large scale relief supplies to governments and NGOs and now they offer consumer kits as well. The Travel Kit has emergency blanket, food bar, water packets, some first aid supplies and even a whistle so you can signal for help. Pack it in your checked bag and keep it out and ready to grab should disaster strike.
We all hope to never be caught in a natural disaster, but life is unpredictable – be prepared – make sure help can find you if you need it!