TRAVEL SAFETY BY NWANKWO JULIANA
10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELLING; AS A CAR OWNER OR AS PASSENGER:
CHECK THE VEHICLE
This is a very vital action that most persons do not engage in. These vehicles might be highly risky vehicles, which may be faulty. Though the actual state of the vehicle may not be detected before the journey, you might be safe by checking these: the tires, engine oil, water, windscreen, wiper, leakage under the car, the seat belts and spare tires.
You might be going to a place where you may not be having much information about. Do yourself the favour of asking friends or loved once who might be informed about the place certain questions that might aid your safety in such a new environment. Questions about security, culture and tradition, weather condition, and many more. Also, don’t be afraid to ask them the parts of the city to avoid, how much taxi fares should cost, and where to find a great place to eat. Enquires may be made about the place using the online mediums too.
KNOW EMERGENCY NUMBERS
While travelling, you might experience a road traffic crash, a robbery attack, kidnapping operations, natural disaster, and others. You might be a victim of the above or might see a victim who needs help, in such a situation, you’ll need to dial emergency numbers for urgent response. Before travelling, try to save national and states emergency numbers in your phone. As an alternative, also write them in a diary/jotter and make sure that those materials are at your reach at any time. Emergency numbers you may need include: The National Emergency Number is 112, The National Federal Road Safety emergency number is 122, FRSC Call centre is 08077690362, Police emergency line is 08061581938, Civil Defence Call Center is 09-8767018 & 09-8767019, and The Federal Fire Service emergency number is 08032003557
In as much as one is advised to travel light, there are cases where you may need to add extra luggage. Whether you travel light or heavy, make sure your expensive materials are kept in a safe bag and locked if possible. Though there might not be a 100% guarantee of safety, keep your eyes on all your bags, and let the bags with your expensive materials be handy always and not out of sight or reach.
SAFE CASH KEEPING
No one would want to wish for bad scenarios especially while travelling, but at the same time, you will need to be prepared for the better as well as for the worse:
- In cases of urgent need for cash while travelling, you may want to hide your cash as well as ATM Card(s) in secret places like a secretly sewn pocket in your trousers or boxers (for the men) and in tights/trousers/gowns/skirts (for ladies), in a secret compartment; a secret part of your bag or a small handy empty container, and many other secret places.
- Avoid putting valuables in your back pocket. It is easier to steal from there than the front because it grabs the attention of pickpockets easily.
- When using the ATM card in any ATM machine while on transit or at your destination, you should study the environment thoroughly to know if it is safe for withdrawal. Look out for those standing by the ATM machine and are looking suspicious, as well as those standing behind you; are they close enough to grab the cash and run off?
Before making any move, do inform a family member or two, or/and a friend or two of where you will be travelling to, when you’ll be leaving, what your plans are when you get there, and when you should be back. That way, if they do not hear from you days after you were to return, they can inform the right authorities and seek approaches to knowing your whereabouts.
When you are in a new city or state, there is every tendency that you might be scammed. Do not make the details of your journey public because it may be the kind of information someone with bad intentions would love to know about you. Also, do not share private information about where you lodge/reside to someone you just met in that city or while on transit. If you are visiting a city/state for the first time, do not make it obvious that you are new there if you feel vulnerable around the persons you meet.
Also, you need to be alert at all times wherever you are, to be prepared for whatever may surface.
GET A FIRST AID KIT
When you are on transit or in any place, you could get injured regardless of how cautious you are. In such a situation, travelling with a first aid kit will be very helpful. It can be stocked with the basics to treat cuts, sprains, burns, stomach issues (for food poisoning, vomiting, etc) and others.
A night before travelling, you should have enough rest so as to be prepared on time for the journey ahead. Avoid attending late-night parties the night before travelling, whether you are a passenger or a driver. Adding to the fact that you need to be alert on transit, getting drunk or high while on transit could be extremely risky because it might make you be unaware of your environment.
BE SIMPLE IN DRESSING
If you can, dress as simple as possible when travelling. The less of your portfolio you look, the less attention you get from thieves/armed robbers, kidnappers, and the likes. Make sure you are putting on a dress that makes you feel comfortable and can back up your alertness when an emergency occurs.