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DoDEA OSS: Safety and Security Tips: Tips for Everywhere

Tips for Everywhere

  • Don't discuss personal matters such as travel plans, your job, or your family with people you don't know.
  • Learn the area, the culture, local customs, history of criminal activity and local laws.
  • Become familiar with the environment. You must know what is normal to be able to detect what is unusual.
  • Always have local coins or calling cards for pay phones. Know how to use the local phone system and the number for emergencies.
  • Keep a low profile. Don't advertise U.S. DoD affiliation.
  • Dress and behave conservatively. Avoid styles that don't fit in the local area and such as American items like cowboy boots and hats, or baseball caps - try to blend in.
  • Don't wear clothing with slogans or symbols that may be offensive. Remember, different cultures have different values and beliefs. When in doubt, be conservative.
  • Be polite and low key. Avoid loud conversations and arguments.
  • Don't flash large sums of money.
  • Never carry documents, credit cards, or large sums of money that you don't need to have on your person. For example, there is generally no reason to have your stateside drivers license or American department store credit cards in your wallet or purse.
  • Avoid going out alone, especially at night.
  • Avoid secluded areas, poorly lit streets and narrow alleys.
  • Stay away from known "trouble spots", demonstrations, and political rallies.
  • When shopping or in other contacts, remember "Deals too good to be true" usually are.
  • Criminals often target intoxicated people. Excessive consumption of alcohol is often the first step to becoming the victim of a crime or serious accident. Most importantly, many victims simply lose their ability to perceive and appreciate potential dangers. It lowers your awareness, rational decision making process, and physical coordination. If you drink, do so in moderation, especially when away from your residence. Staying sober may help you stay healthy and alive.

Sources for Additional Information

The U.S. Department of State operates a 24 hour per day information center. Travel advisories for countries and areas can be obtained from the center, and travelers can report emergencies involving U.S. citizens. Information concerning marriages overseas, citizenship questions, and judicial services can also be obtained. The telephone number is (202) 647-5225.

Most U.S. military transportation offices maintain travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State through Department of Defense channels.

Pamphlets and publications can provide valuable information concerning general security issues and crime prevention tips; but they should not be used as a sole source of such information. The most current and specific information can and should be obtained from Law Enforcement Officials, Security Officers, and/or U.S. Embassy Regional Security Officers in the area in which you live or are planning to travel.

Be Smart | Be Alert | Be Aware