Safety Tips for Travelers

How to prepare for a natural disaster no matter where you are

As summer travels take you to new and exciting places, be sure that you take extra precautionary measures to help ensure your safe and sound return home. When the neighborhoods and buildings that surround you are unfamiliar, it’s more important than ever to prepare for the unexpected. 

All across the globe, natural disasters – such as earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and floods – are on the rise. According to EM-DAT records1, the number of annually reported natural disasters grew steadily during the final three decades of the twentieth century. In 2018, the total annual disaster count was more than three times higher than in 1970.

Still, there is no need to let worry and feeling unprepared get in the way of your traveling adventures. While you can’t anticipate when emergency situations may occur, you can be prepared for them. We offer three simple steps to help protect you should you find yourself facing unforeseen risks when vacationing far from home.

1. First and foremost – download our award-winning GWEN Alert safety app on your phone and on the phones of those traveling with you. It is now available at the Apple Store and Google Play.

The GWEN Alert provides an instant connection to multi-level support in the palm of your hand. When you’re in danger and trigger the safety app with a click of a button, a pre-set text message is sent instantly to your GWEN 5 – five trusted people you select from your personal network. It also provides your GPS coordinates, continually tracks your location, and captures audio and video of your surroundings. Plus, you also have the ability to speed dial 911, should you need to escalate a rescue response.

2. Always know the exits and emergency evacuation plans for your hotel or lodgings.  Take a few moments during check-in to ask the hotel staff about their evacuation and emergency plans. Typically, there is a map showing stairwells and other exits, often located by every elevator. If you are staying in a rented home, check to see where the emergency supplies are stored. Locate flashlights, extra water, food, etc. If you have to evacuate the building, choose a meeting place and share the location with your travel companions ahead of time.

3. If you are at an event, amusement park, beach or other outside location, always have a designated meeting place in case of emergency. Also, as much as possible, check out the lay of the land. Find the exits or areas where you would be safest and plan ahead.

This may sound like a sure-fire way to put a damper of your vacation fun. After all, who wants to think about all the what-ifs?  However, taking 5 to 10 minutes organizing a plan could make a huge difference, even save a life! A few easy, preventive steps is all that is required. Take the lead with your family or friends, have a plan in place, share it, and get on with your adventures.

1Source: Our World in Data