When Things Go Wrong: Resources You Need
by Sallie Brady
As I digested the words "hotels," "hostages," "grenades," that accompanied the horrific images of Mumbai under siege Wednesday, November 26, I had a sickening feeling that the bubble of hotel safety and security had been forever pierced. I wondered if the Americans and Brits trapped in the hotels were attempting to be in touch with the U.S. embassy and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and if these government agencies, in turn, were sending out alerts, as they claim to do in times of crisis.
I had reported something similar following the Lebanon-Israeli conflict of July 2006 and discovered that the U.S. State Department had major failings, so I began a bit obsessively looking at the State Department's travel.state.gov site, linking to the U.S. Embassy New Delhi site, where six hours after I saw the first horrible newsfeed from the burning Taj hotel, a picture of Tom Turkey and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was still the top item.
If you're a world traveler, more than ever these days you need to be armed with resources, which is why those of us contributing to Stop Press have already begun work on finding out everything you need to know about hotel security, technology in times of crisis, and what governments can do to help you. Look for our report in the February 2009 issue of Condé Nast Traveler.
For now, if you have travel plans, consider registering your trip for destination information and alerts with
1. U.S. State Department (travel.state.gov)
2. Britain's Foreign & Commonwealth Office (fco.gov.uk/en/)
3. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (smarttraveller.gov.au)
4. Canada's Consular Affairs Travel Updates (voyage.gc.ca)