U.S. Embassy Procedures and Precautions
BLUF: When traveling abroad it’s vital to initiate contact with the host nation’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate prior to departure. This will allow the U.S. to assist you in the event of an emergency, unplanned conflict, search & rescue, civil unrest, evacuation, and natural disasters.
Register as a traveler with Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at step.state.gov. This will automatically enroll you in updates on the safety conditions in your destination country allowing you to be situationally aware of local threats as you plan your travel. Provide as much information about your trip, itinerary, hotel, etc. Update them after you arrive with additional information such as the license plate of your rental car or changes to your itinerary.
If you face non-governmental threats such as a criminal kidnapping attempt, blackmail, or are be pursued by a terrorist group; seek aid from the Embassy. If you are facing criminal prosecution by a developed host country’s law enforcement, do not seek shelter at the Embassy as they will likely allow host LE to take custody. You can however seek legal assistance from the Embassy and it is always a good idea to notify them of your arrest (or pending charges).
When approaching the Embassy, only carry small luggage (suitcase, backpack). Do not carry multiple phones, weapons, or contraband as you may be turned away. You will likely need an appointment to be seen by consular services but if it is an emergency, it’s acceptable to arrive unannounced and wait inside for a meeting.
For a more detailed article on this subject, see this article from the Survival Dispatch Insider magazine.
This article was originally written by the Grayman Briefing. Stay in the know. Sign up for Intel and Situational Awareness alerts pushed to your phone on emerging threats and preparedness warnings. Click HERE to subscribe to the Grayman Briefing.
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