March 3 2010 by Chris McGinnis
Two major earthquakes in the Americas in the last two months. Monster storms and flooding in Europe. A series of blizzards in the northeastern U.S. When many of these natural disasters struck, I was glad to be in my hometown.
But how would I have reacted if I were out on a business trip? Recent events have really made me wonder about this. If disaster struck in a town I was visiting, who or how would I call for help? How would I let my family back home know I was okay?
On the flipside, what if I'm on a business trip to New York when "the big one" hits my hometown of San Francisco? How would I know if my family was safe? If my house survived? If my pets were okay?
From now on, I'm going to be better about leaving tracks regarding my whereabouts and be more personally prepared. Here's what I'm doing:
- Before I leave on a business trip, I'll email my travel itineraries, hotel/work locations and contact info to members of my family.
- I'll be sure my neighbors have all my contact information and I'll get theirs.
- I'll set up an alternate central meeting place for my family if our home is destroyed or becomes uninhabitable.
- In the event of a natural disaster, I will call, send a text (presumably the smarter choice if phone lines are overloaded) or send an email to family members letting them know my whereabouts and status--even if I'm in my hometown.
- I will double check to be certain my U.S. cell phone works in the countries I will be visiting.
- I'll consider my emergency escape route every time I check into a hotel.
- I'll check on and re-stock the emergency preparedness kit in my basement.
- I'll be sure I have a mini flashlight on my key ring and in my overnight bag at all times.
What have I left out here? Please let me know what you would do if disaster struck when you're traveling on business. Maybe you've been in a situation like this before and can share your experience and advice? Please leave your comments below.