TheAmerican Red Cross wants people to be prepared and remain safe and has some important steps people can follow to be ready for an emergency at home or to ensure safer travel following the alert by the U.S.State Department about the potential for terrorist attacks in Europe.
The alert, which does not expire until January 31, 2011, reminds U.S. travelers of the possibility of attacks on public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. The State Department urges Americans to take every precaution and to be aware of their surroundings. The alert does not advise Americans to avoid European travel, but to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.
Some of the things you can do to make your trip safer include:
- Registering your travel plans with the State Department through a free online service. This helps the State Department contact you if there is a family emergency here in the U.S., or if there is a crisis where you are traveling.
- Sign your passport and fill in the emergency information.
- Leave copies of your itinerary and passport data page and visas with family or friends so you can be contacted in an emergency.
- To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money. Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.
- Contact the State Department in an emergency. Consular personnel at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad and in the U.S. are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates appears on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
For detailed information about more steps you can to make your trip to Europe safer, see the State Department’s How to Have a Safe Trip.