The Navy SEALs, Green Berets and other special operators who run SOFREP.com teamed up with the security experts at Escape the Wolf to produce an essential safety checklist for business and leisure travelers alike.
Here is an abbreviated version of the list. Get the complete story here.
Before you go
- Invest in good local interpreters recommended by the embassy. "Local" being the most important word.
- The more people in your entourage, the better (as long as they are the right people.)
- Know the culture of the area you are working in and understand the local customs, especially those pertaining to gender and dress. Cultural and personal awareness are critical to avoid attracting undesired attention.
In crowds or areas of civil unrest
- The person who can yell the loudest can usually sway the crowd. This is especially true in Arab cultures.
- Get to high ground or the high floors of a building. Look and listen before moving to lower grounds where crowds are gathered.
- Run before all else fails. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, identify potential risks and set invisible thresholds for yourself. Take action if threats cross the thresholds you have set in advance.
- If possible, avoid the checkpoint entirely. If you see flashlights suddenly waiving in your direction, make a left or right turn immediately.
- Ideally, employ a lead car of locals to run interference two to five minutes ahead and call in the road conditions. Travelers can then turn around before anyone sees them.
- When approaching a checkpoint, overwhelm the security personnel with kindness, yet always be cautious.
- Don’t roll windows all the way down. Keep all doors locked. If asked to roll windows down more, roll them down, but never all the way. Or, say the window is broken, or that you are not able to roll them down.
- Travelers may want to hide cameras and credentials in third-world countries and bring them out only as a last resort. Being a American or foreigner can make an individual a target -- where once it might have offered safe passage.