We never think of the worst whilst preparing for a long awaited holiday, but unfortunately many things can occur whilst travelling that may be out of our control. From a natural disaster to political upheaval, from an accident or illness to becoming the victim of crime or terrorism. Being prepared for any unforeseen situations and having contingency plans will not only make it easier to get the help you need, but also help family, friends and government agencies stay informed of your health and safety.
112 The Magic Number: The international emergency number, 112, works on most mobile phones even if the phone is locked or it’s not showing any service provider. Keep it on speed dial in your phone for use in an emergency situation.
Lost property: Doing a little prep work before you leave home is always a great idea as important items can sometimes get lost or stolen. Take photo's or scan images of your passport and email it to yourself and a family member. With money it's always handy to have a few hundred dollars on a separate card put somewhere other than your wallet (in pockets of jackets/bags). This will help if your wallet/purse is stolen or lost.
What did you say?: Downloading an app like Google Translate is a fantastic tool when in a foreign country that doesn't speak your language. In an emergency this could be an extremely helpful tool to get instructions or to communicate to locals and/or authority personnel.
Know who to call?: In emergency situations it is important to know who to call or get in contact with depending on the severity of the situation. In most situations the travel insurance company you used should be your first call as they will have all the relevant information on medical facilities, embassy locations, evacuation assistance and a multitude of other helpful services. If you have found yourself with a missing passport or purse/wallet stolen, then get in touch with the closest Australian embassy (or one that is affiliated with Australia, example Canada).
24 hour consulate assistance is available on the numbers listed below:
Make sure to get in contact with your insurance provider in any emergency situation if you have theft or robbery claims (including passports, credit cards and expensive items), any hospitalisation and expensive medical claims.
Register away: Before each trip, take a few minutes to register with Smart Traveller on the Australian Government website smartraveller.gov.au This will insure that you are able to be contacted by the proper authorities if need be, and in turn family and friends can check the register in an emergency situation where phones and/or internet may be affected. This is the go to site for all your travelling questions and needs.
Remember that a little bit of home work can make the difference between an easy outcome in a time of crisis or the holiday from hell if you don't prepare beforehand.
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