Does every hotel already have your refrigerator stocked with your favorite snacks and beverages before you arrive? Then this blog post is for you. As a writer/producer, one of my favorite things about developing a new movie or television series is the team that comes along with it. It’s so nice to have people around to handle the little things, whether it’s putting together production schedules or making sure my contacts are synced up to my smartphone. On the other hand, it’s so easy to get used to having people to handle everything for you, that it’s simple to overlook the things you really do need to do for yourself. Like set up an ICE Contact on your phone. Or to make sure that you have everything you need at your fingertips to handle an emergency, whether you’re with your staff or completely alone. After writing three books that have kept thousands of families and their keepsakes safe and sound, heading up business continuity planning for the Wealth Management department of a Fortune 500 bank and having been through some pretty “interesting” situations of our own, my writing partner and I have learned one thing.
You never know when or where you’ll be, when you suddenly need to put out all the stops to get yourself out of a hairy situation.
So here 9 ways to stay safe while traveling abroad — some of our favorite tips to help you and your family, stay safe and secure, no matter where your travels take you — even if it’s only a few miles from your front door.
1. Pre-program the emergency number for the country you’ll be visiting into your phone before you leave, along with local numbers for your country’s embassy and any other emergency assistance numbers.
2. Always leave an assistant, a colleague and your spouse (or if he or she is going with you, a close relative) a copy of your itinerary with local contact numbers. Be sure to send updates if that information changes.
3. Carry two portable chargers for your smartphone and other electronic devices with you at all times, ensuring that one of them is always completely charged.
4. If you travel around the world frequently for business, you need to have four ICE Contacts on your smartphone. The first should be your spouse or significant other, the second a close relative or friend. The third contact should be your attorney or business manager and the fourth, a business partner or colleague who can attend to matters if you are temporarily incapacitated or in a location where telecommunications are down. Name the first two ICE Medical 1 and 2, then name the others ICE Legal and ICE Business.
5. Scan all of your vital documents, treasured photos (both family and business), keepsakes, awards and anything else that is important to you and place the scans on portable hard drives in at least three secure locations. If you haven’t already done so, place the originals of your vital documents in a waterproof/fireproof location.
6. Make sure that the members of your immediate family have ICE Contacts on their phones, as well as any electronic devices that they usually carry, such as an iPod Touch or smart watches. If you have an iPhone 6 or iPhone with iOS 8 and Medical ID, make sure that it is filled in as well. (How To Create An iPhone Medical ID) And if you want to go one step further, they can place a link to a medical history synopsis into the contact, that an emergency physician can use to treat them until a family member arrives on scene. We have medical history forms on our blog and with our books, if you need them.
7. Make sure that you have your spouse’s emergency information in your phone and vice versa, in case you ever need it quickly.
8. If your spouse and children are travelling with you in an unfamiliar country, consider downloading the Find My Friends app. All you have to do is add their smartphones to the app and you’ll be able to see exactly where they are along with directions to their location.
9. Always give yourself a way out. As much as you appreciate your staff, don’t assume they’ll always be right there to help you deal with an emergency situation. You got where you are today by strategic thinking and planning, so make sure that you have the tools you need to deal with any situation that arises.
For even more information, check out our blog post, How To Stay Safe During International Travel.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…