Below are a list of tips and resources that focus on pre-travel preparation, security and medical issues to assist travelers who may be traveling in or around the affected areas.
Pre-Travel Preparation Tips
- Make sure you know your company’s policies and procedures for managing a medical or security incident while traveling. This includes understanding company benefits associated with the policies, available resources and how to access them if assistance is needed.
- Contact your TRM provider prior to travel for detailed advice, analysis and threat assessments of your destination as well as information on necessary vaccinations and entry requirements. If your company does not have a TRM provider, generic information can be obtained from the U.S. Department of State website.
- Travelers who are U.S. citizens are always recommended to register their travel with the U.S. Department of State. This lets your local government know where you are traveling and is particularly helpful in case some kind of security situation takes place in the location you’re in or traveling to. However, it is important to note that the Department of State takes action depending on the nature of the crisis, so they will not always assist with evacuations nor will they always evacuate when someone may want to leave a country. Your TRM provider can provide 24/7/365 evacuation assistance from transporting a patient to a center of medical excellence to assistance in the wake of a natural disaster.
- U.S. citizens planning to travel abroad should enroll in the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) which provides updates on important safety and security announcements and current information about the country where they will be travelling or living.
- Know the location of your home country embassy or consulate; further, be aware of what your embassy can and can’t do.
- In the event of an incident, you should notify the local authorities first, then your TRM provider or company contacts next, depending on your company’s TRM procedure, as well as embassy consulates.
- Never hesitate to act if something feels “off” or strange – you should get out, move away or scream – and do it quickly.
- Provide relatives or friends at home with your itinerary, flight and hotel information and phone numbers.
- Always carry your passport, plane ticket, traveler’s checks, cash and other primary documents in a concealed money belt worn around the waist. As a backup, scanned color copies should also be kept in a hotel safe.
- Consider carrying a simple travel evacuation/medical kit, including mobile phone pre-loaded with emergency numbers, spare SIM cards and battery, protein bars and bottles of water, a small flashlight, cash and credit cards to cover emergency medical expenses, travel documents, passport, generic antibiotics such as Cipro (for diarrheal illness), Tylenol or Motrin (for fever), any necessary medications specific to your medical condition and copies of prescriptions and medical records.
- When selecting a hospital to go to for medical care, do not assume private hospitals offer higher levels of care. Contact your TRM provider to receive a list of recommended medical facilities near your location.
- Take enough prescription drugs to last the length of your trip, including enough extra medication in case of delays. Carry prescriptions in their labeled containers. Many countries have strict laws against drug trafficking and may be suspicious of pills in unlabeled bottles