Today’s Earthquake in Italy came closer to home to us, than likely much of America.
For that- no photos of this destination are to be included. Safety all- SAFETY.
Montepulciano was one of the Tuscan towns damaged today. We were there just over a month ago and it got me thinking…. How prepared have we been for misfortune, natural disaster an unforeseen circumstances on our travels? Edit: I found out that the tourists who reported of the disaster in this town LIED.
At the end of the day, it’s near impossible to be ready for everything that could possibly happen. I’m sure there are many out there prepared for more than I, but, being a fairly organized person- I think I have some good tips.
Before you travel:
– Enroll in S.T.E.P.- the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is more or less a way to inform the US Ambassadors Office(s) of your travel dates. You save your dates and passport information in their database. This way if something happens a where you lose your passport (whether it be user error or disaster striking) getting documentation to make it back home is easier.
-Take Photos of Everything & Store in the cloud- email photos to your self of what’s packed in your luggage, credit cards, passport, IDs etc.
-Traveler Insurance- yes you may not think you are cancelling your trip but good luck getting back charges or skipping cancellation policies of you decide your destination is no longer safe, or if passport requirements changed. Remember- hotels are businesses too, not the bad guys 😉 Last minute flights, and flight changes are also heft fees.
-Carry Spare Cash
– Share itinerary and contact information at each destination with your family/friends
-Turn on international calling/roaming/data with your cell provider- I get not everyone wants to pay for it but in an emergency you’ll be wishing you turned it on. TIP- avoid usage charges by keeping your phone in airplane mode 🙂
– Print the address location of the local Embassy and affiliates of your home country.
Bring with you:
-Paper Copies of Documentation (all above as well as confirmations)
– Back Up Charger
Upon arrival- I have to say we’ve been fortunate enough to never be anywhere during a disaster so I don’t have too much here 😦 but if you follow my tips you’ll have some core items to help get you to safety.
– If you split up a group, have a meeting zone… Or be like us and never venture anywhere alone 😉
-Don’t fret material possessions- they are replaceable!!!!
– Before arrival I’m going to assume you know your basic risks. If you go somewhere during hurricane season- well- yup you’re at risk for a hurricane. If that’s the case read the safety procedures and know where to go. But do the same when you check in your hotels regardless- check the evacuation prod ushers on the back of your door.
– Don’t stress 24/7. Shit happens all over. On that note, I’m not prepared for disaster in my chair right now….
If disaster strikes.
– Talk yourself calm, take deep breaths, trust those around you. Every situation will be different.
At the end of the day, please pray for Italy, and wish the best upon their people. Do the same for any misfortune. And no- changing your Facebook profile picture to their flag does not mean you stand with them.