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Being prepared for the unexpected

The recent incident at Fort Lauderdale International Airport demonstrates the need to always be prepared for the unexpected. While it’s sad that we need to anticipate the worst when we travel, living in the 21st century has shown that senseless attacks can happen at any time, anywhere, whether they are due to terrorism or just random acts of violence. Of course, having to plan for this type of situation should be unnecessary, but in fact, we must all be ready for anything. We’ve gathered together some tips that might come in handy at some point in the future. First, always be sure to pack some snacks. Granola bars, peanut butter crackers, nuts, veggies and so on, are all items that can be carried onto a plane. If you’re stuck in an airport, on a plane or train, etc., you’ll have a snack in case of hunger or medical needs. You can’t carry liquids through security, but it’s a good idea to buy a bottle of water once you’re at the gate. Likewise, if you’re traveling with babies, have something for them to snack on, as well as plenty of extra diapers. Always carry plenty of your prescription medications with you as well. These items should NEVER be checked. As was demonstrated in Ft. Lauderdale, many passengers were either stranded on planes or in the areas outside the airport, away from their checked luggage. Having an extra dose of your medications in your purse or pocket can help mitigate any potential medical issues. Keep your cell phone fully charged, and invest in a good external cellphone power source like a Mophie JuicePack or similar. Be sure that is fully charged as well. You can power your cell phone for hours with a fully charged, high capacity charger. Check will your carrier or your local electronics store for further information. Having a fully charged device will allow you to contact your family, try to rebook your travel, arrange for a hotel and keep you in touch with local authorities and the media so that you will have up to date information. Pack a change of clothes and a sweater or jacket in your carry on. Al least you’ll have something to wear if need be, and if the weather changes, you can put on your jacket. Also, you can roll up your jacket and use it as a makeshift pillow. Once you’re safe and after you’ve notified your family, you can begin to rearrange your travel details. If you booked through a travel agent, get in touch with them as soon as you can. Often they’ll know before you about travel providers relaxing their rebooking rules. A great travel agent will probably already have started this process before you even contact them. If you booked on your own, try contacting the airline, hotel or cruise line via their websites. If you have trouble, social media, especially Twitter can get you faster assistance, but keep in mind that many other travelers are in a similar situation. Finally, yes, it is sad that we have to plan for situations such as what happened in Fort Lauderdale when we are ready to go on vacation. The truth is, our world is no longer as safe as it once was. While no one wants to prepare for any emergency, taking a few moments to do so can make all the difference. Continue to get out there and explore our planet and don’t dwell on the negatives. Just take a few moments and, as the Scouts say: Be Prepared!

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