Traveling in this dynamic and unpredictable world can present many challenges. Some destinations can present more challenges than others. That’s why preparedness is key.
Organizations have a duty of care to ensure traveling employees are provided with the right training and information. Here are few scenarios that could slow down, put a stop to or turn your journey into a dire crisis:
- IT failures with Airlines (British Airways recently experienced this)
- Natural Disasters
- Terrorist Attacks
- Cyber Crime
- Petty Crime
Before you depart, consider the following:
- Check with your organization’s policies and procedures to see if there’s anything specific that you need to follow. If there are any concerns with regard to the corporate travel procedures, clarify those concerns with your travel security manager before you depart.
- Make your own plan too. If your organization has a plan, follow it. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have your own plan just in case.
When you first arrive at your destination, you are especially vulnerable.
Some airports are hubs for criminals. When you land after a long journey, be aware of your surroundings. If you look and act alert, you will project to potential adversaries that you’re situationally aware, and they will likely turn from you to target other, less suspecting travelers. Also, if you dress appropriately for the region, the adversary might look elsewhere.
Remember, you might be a specific target that has been identified beforehand, and it won’t matter what you do or how you dress.
If you have pre-arranged transportation, ensure that you confirm the name of the transportation company and driver before you leave the airport. When driving to your destination, be aware of vehicles and motorbikes that might be following you from the airport to your hotel.
Situational Awareness is “closely monitoring what is going on around you in a complex and dynamic environment”
Hotels can be a hotbed for petty crime and much worse.
Terrorism, petty crime and cyber espionage are some of the threats that you may be faced with while staying in your accommodations. Smaller boutique hotels, and B&B’s might be less attractive to criminals. However, smaller places may not have resources such as security. Do your research before booking your hotel.
RESOURCE: Travel Security – eLearning Course
Who knows your whereabouts throughout your trip?
Notify someone back home of your locations throughout your trip. Do this often so they know where you are and that you’re safe. If you don’t notify someone of your location and safety, how could they effectively help if something were to happen to you? Make sure that you have a plan, and communicating is part of that plan. Is a text message enough or do you expect to speak with someone? Some dangerous destinations may require a code word that you have as part of your travel plan.
Are you being followed? What do you do if you are? This will be the subject of my follow-on blog.
Rob is a Principal at PreparedEx where he manages a team of crisis preparedness professionals and has over 20 years of experience preparing for and responding to crises. Part of his leadership role includes assisting PreparedEx clients in designing, implementing and evaluating crisis, emergency, security and business continuity management programs. During his career Rob has worked for the US State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, as a crisis management consultant in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he negotiated with the UN and Pashtun tribal warlords and he served with the United Kingdom Special Forces where he operated internationally under hazardous covert and confidential conditions. Rob was also part of a disciplined and prestigious unit The Grenadier Guards where he served Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Palaces in London. Rob was a highly trained and experienced infantryman serving in Desert Storm and commanded covert operational teams and was a sniper. Rob has keynoted disaster recovery conferences and participated in live debates on FOX News regarding complex security requirements and terrorism. Rob has a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.