Reduce Your Vulnerability in the Event of Civil Unrest
Civil unrest can range from small, planned rallies to large-scale demonstrations and rioting. Most incidents are related to labor disputes or social and political issues, and people may be harmed simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Follow these safety measures from WorldAware if civil unrest occurs in your area abroad:
- It is imperative to avoid large assemblies related to labor or political issues. Seemingly peaceful rallies can quickly spur violent activity or be met with resistance by security personnel or political opposition. Bystanders may be arrested or injured by security forces using tear gas or other measures during attempted crowd control.
- Dress conservatively and avoid demonstration areas and discussions of the issues at hand, the key is to maintain a low profile.
- During violent or potentially violent unrest, avoid police stations unless you are seeking help, government buildings including embassies, fast food restaurants, and banks, as these establishments are often targeted.
- Leave the area as swiftly as possible if violence erupts or is imminent. Seek shelter in large public buildings such as churches, hospitals, and museums if you cannot leave the area. Remain inside until the crowds have dissipated.
- Plan pedestrian and vehicular routes that avoid affected areas if you know of an event ahead of time. Give yourself extra time to travel as road closures and traffic delays are common.
- Strictly observe regulations if curfews are imposed and monitor the media closely for direct updates to the situation.
- Many businesses close during general strikes and public transportation does not run. Tensions run high during labor strikes and rogue taxis and buses may offer services but should be avoided because they may be targeted for violence. Use private car services or hotel taxis as an alternative if you must travel.
- Local currency may not be convertible in extreme cases, so ensure that you have adequate amounts of cash and/or traveler’s checks during long-term periods of civil unrest.
MissionSafe is ready to protect you in any possible situation you may encounter while serving abroad. Contact us today to learn about the various plans specifically designed to meet your unique needs.
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