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Insurance Article

What To Do If Your Foreign Vacation Is Disrupted By A Natural Disaster

January 31 2019

Steps to follow if a natural disaster disrupts your international trip

The mere thought of travelling to a new place brings with it a rush of adrenaline in your veins. Travelling gives you the opportunity to experience a new place, meet new people, learn a new culture and get accustomed to a new way of living!

It’s probable that you have already formed a beautiful mental picture of the fun you would be having during your travel. But what if a natural disaster strikes while you are enjoying your tour at the international destination?

Unfortunately, natural disasters can happen anytime and at any place! You might still remember the volcano that erupted in Iceland and the subsequent ash clouds which left travellers stranded all over Europe.

Every year natural disasters like these, leave thousands of people homeless and result in a colossal loss to life and property. Which is why it’s best to be prepared for any situation that might come your way. Disasters can strike before you commence your travel or after you reach your destination. There are separate precautionary measures that you can take in these two situations as listed below -

  1. Before commencement of travel

  2. News about a natural disaster in your destination country is the last thing you would like to hear before commencing your journey. However, if it happens, the question is should you still be going? Undoubtedly, a tough decision to make, it would most often depend on the scale of the disaster.

    The first thing you can do in such a case is to contact your tour operator or the travel agency through which you bought the package. You can also contact the airlines and hotel operator separately if you booked them separately. Confirm that your hotel is operational would ensure that you are not stranded in your destination country after landing.

    However, if the foreign offices issue warnings against travelling to the destination country, then your tour operator would likely offer you a refund or an alternate plan.

  3. During your travel

  4. What if disaster strikes after you land at your destination? The best solution is to go by the maxim ‘prevention is better than cure’ and take some precautionary measures. Here are some of the precautionary measures that you can take before you travel.

    1. Making contingency plan

    2. While making your travel plan before travelling to any destination, it is extremely important to make a contingency plan. Contingency plan helps you to be prepared for any emergency situation that might arise.

      As part of the preparation for an emergency situation, it is important to carry the numbers of the travel agent, relatives, travel insurance providers and others who might be able to help during a crisis. It is also important to know the procedure of making an international call. Another good idea is to note the address of the embassy in your destination country.

    3. Prepare well

    4. Before you leave, make sure you have got a signed copy of valid passport, visa and other necessary documents. It is important to write down your detailed itinerary and leave it behind with your loved ones back home so that they can track you in case of a disaster.

      It is important to keep a copy of all the necessary documents separately in a personal bag which you can carry in case of emergency evacuation. Not having proper documents with you during a disaster can further complicate matters for you.

      Pack prescription medication for a few extra days, a fully charged power bank, a personal torch, few extra batteries, etc. in your personal bag. It is also important to get good international travel insurance policy before you embark. You should check whether your travel insurance covers emergency expenses like a medical evacuation. If not, get a supplementary cover with your travel insurance policy.

    Facing emergency during your travel

    The moment of truth comes if you face an emergency after reaching your destination. It tests whether your preparation is enough. If you are caught in such a situation, don’t panic. Here is a list of things that you can should be doing instead:

    1. A place to stay

    2. If you are in a hotel and the area is safe, then you should stay indoors. However, if the building is vulnerable, grab your personal bag containing important items and move out. If you are on the streets, try to get away from the danger and get into a safe place as soon as possible.

    3. Go to the embassy

    4. You should try and visit the consulate or Indian embassy as soon as possible. You would be getting food, shelter and the means to get back home safely. If you cannot locate your embassy or if it has been damaged, then you should try and contact the Red Cross.

    5. Be prepared for exigency situations

    During an emergency, mobile phones and the internet might stop working, roads might be blocked and there might be a blackout. Carry essentials such as snacks, torch lights, and medication with you at all times.

    Related Article:

    A Fan of Unplanned Foreign Trips? Don’t Forget to Pack Travel Insurance
    Important questions to ask your travel agent while travelling abroad

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