Travel Safety Tips
- Secure all your travel arrangements through the Lab's designated travel agency. This enables the Lab to assist travelers when unexpected situations occur.
- When booking your own hotel reservations, provide the agency with your hotel information so it can be included in your itinerary.
- Leave copies of your business itinerary with your family and supervisor.
- Keep valuables and negotiable documents (traveler's checks) with you and not in checked luggage.
- Copy important numbers such as passport, credit cards, traveler's checks and airline ticket numbers and carry in an alternate location in case any of these items is lost or stolen. The Lab's designated travel agency will have some of this information already stored in your profile.
- Don't carry large amounts of cash. Use credit cards or traveler's checks.
- Report any losses immediately.
- Plan to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to a domestic flight and 3 hours prior to an international flight.
- When going through security, be alert. It is possible that someone may try to distract you while an accomplice takes your bag or laptop computer.
- Once seated on the plane, locate the nearest exit. Take note of the number of rows between your seat and the exit.
- Observe the safety briefing conducted by the flight attendants prior to takeoff.
- Remain seated with your seat belt fastened for the duration of the flight.
- In the event of an emergency evacuation of the aircraft, leave your personal belongings behind and move quickly to the exit door.
- Carry valuables, important business papers, medications, some toiletries and a change of clothing with you in your carryon luggage in case your checked luggage is misplaced or your flight delayed.
- Do not leave luggage unattended or with an unknown person.
- Do not display any Laboratory identification (ex: laminated business cards) on your luggage or yourself.
- Place your name, office phone number and company address (rather than your home address) on your luggage tag as well as inside your luggage. For added security use tags that conceal your name and address.
- Never agree to carry anything onboard or in your luggage for someone else.
- Keep all prescription medications in their original containers.
- Remove all old destination tags to avoid confusing baggage handlers.
- Disabled travelers should alert the front desk of disabilities upon arrival. Some hotels offer special warning systems, or will send an employee to your room should an emergency arise.
- Request a room above the second floor, but below the sixth floor in high-rise hotels to reduce the risk of exterior entry and to avoid entrapment by fire.
- Maintain control of your luggage at all times and avoid the use of bellboys.
- Note any hallway obstacles, alarms and extinguishers.
- Locate the nearest exits - being sure to count the number of doors between your room and the exit to enable you to find the exit in the dark.
- Keep the door locked whether you are in the room or not. Use the door chain or bolt.
- Check all windows, sliding glass doors, balcony doors and connecting doors in your room to be sure they are locked.
- Secure your personal valuables in the hotel's safe.
- Never leave your door open even if you are just running down the hall to the ice machine.
- If someone knocks on the door, use the peephole. Do not answer the door without verifying who it is. If you do not recognize the person, call the front desk.
- If you have not called hotel service to your room, do not open the door to anyone identifying themselves as hotel service and notify hotel staff at once.
- Do not invite strangers into your room.
- Do not mention your room number in elevators, restaurants or public places.
- Do not leave a sign on the door for maid service as it announces an empty room.
- If you see a suspicious person on the elevator, get off at a floor different from yours. If you are followed, use a house phone (usually located near the elevator) or get back on the elevator and go to the lobby.
- If you are accosted on the elevator, push the alarm.
- Keep your room key, eye glasses, shoes, flashlight and other necessary items close at hand - on a nightstand or next to the bed.
- If the fire alarm sounds, put on your shoes, get your room key and head for the door.
- Feel the door with the back of your hand or arm before proceeding into the hallway. If it is cool, leave your room and take your room key with you. If the door is hot, do not open it.
- If smoke is entering your room from beneath the door, use wet towels to block all openings. Call the front desk to alert them that you are in your room.
- Open your window only if smoke is not entering your room. (If smoke begins to enter, close the window immediately.)
- Never break open a window with a chair or other object. The air pressure will draw more smoke into the room and you may have to close it later if there is smoke outside.
- Never jump from the third floor or higher. Chances of survival are greatly reduced.
- Fill the tub with water and turn on the bathroom vent fan.
- If the hallway is clear, close the door behind you and proceed to the nearest exit.
- If there is smoke present, crawl on the floor. Use a wet towel to cover your mouth and nose.
- Never take an elevator during a fire.
- Never accept rides from strangers.
- Use only licensed taxi or limousine services. Beware of people claiming to be cab drivers in unmarked cars.
- When renting a car, obtain maps and directions in advance or from the rental counter.
- Stop to ask for directions only in well-lit public areas.
- Do not let your vehicle run low on fuel to avoid being stranded in an unfamiliar or unsafe location.
- Vehicles should always be parked in well-lit, secure areas.
- Approach the vehicle with keys already in your hand.
- Do not approach your parked vehicle if strangers are loitering. Request an escort from the hotel, a security guard or a reputable business nearby.
- Lock the doors immediately after getting into the car and keep doors locked, windows closed and seat belts on during transit.
- If followed, drive immediately to a safe haven (police or fire station, large hotel, shopping center etc.).
- If you have car trouble on the road, raise the hood and turn on hazard lights. Stay inside the car with the doors locked and windows up. If a motorist stops to help, you should open the window slightly and ask them to call the police.
- When using valet parking, leave only the ignition key with the attendant. Remove items that may tempt theft.
- Park only in garages and parking lots that are well-lit.
- Park as close to entrances/exits as possible.
- Lock your car and do not leave any valuables inside.
- Ask for an escort or use valet parking if you do not feel safe.
On The Street
- Do not walk alone at night
- Walk in the center of the sidewalk. Remain alert. Give the impression that you are going somewhere.
- If you are followed, you should stay on well-lit streets, enter a busy place and ask for assistance. Do not confront your follower.
- If harassed by a person in a vehicle, you should turn and walk in the direction opposite the car's travel and head for people and lighted areas.
- Do not stop and give directions to drivers.
- Be vigilant about pickpockets and thieves.
- Obtain current information on criminal and other risks in the destination city/country. You can contact the Office of Counterintelligence (which also provides traveler safety information) for a briefing at (510) 486-5132 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- For information on sensitive countries, contact the Travel Office (email@example.com).
- The US State Department’s Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets can be found online at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel_warnings. In addition to travel warnings there is also a list of Embassy locations, health conditions, minor political disturbances, and unusual currency and entry regulations.
- Store your passport, and an alternate credit card in a neck or waist pouch worn under your clothing. If possible, avoid relinquishing your passport to anyone.
- If your passport is lost or stolen, contact the US Consulate or World-wide Assistance at 1 800 643-5525. Store a copy of your passport in an alternate location as this will help expedite replacement and may help provide temporary identification until a replacement is secured.
- Insure immunizations are current.
- Report all personal injuries sustained while on official travel to the Laboratory Medical Services Department.
Report property loss or damage to the Laboratory Legal Counsel.