Prepare for Takeoff
“Prepare for takeoff” is more than a phrase. It's a call for action for everyone to contribute to travel safety. Whether local or abroad, traveling can be an exciting experience but do you know how to prepare for unexpected difficulties while away from home?
Safety begins before you go! The U.S. Department of State offers important tips to help you get ready for takeoff:
- Learn as much as you can about the local laws, customs and risks of the area you plan to visit. Know the emergency plans of the hotel or community where you will be staying;
- Bring travelers checks and no more than two credit cards instead of cash;
- Put your name, address and telephone numbers inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Use covered luggage tags to avoid causal observation of your identity. If possible, lock your luggage ; and
- Pack an extra set of passport photos along with a photocopy of your passport's information page to make replacement of your passport easier if it's lost or stolen.
See how to respond to disaster specific hazards with safety tips from FEMA. Sign up for FEMA text messages or download the FEMA app to access preparedness tips when you need them the most.
You can also enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to automatically receive the most current information about the country they are visiting. Get travel alerts, warnings and assistance in case of an emergency or natural disaster.
Learn about the other ways the Department of State can assist you in a crisis. They provide emergency services 24-hours a day. Have a safe trip!
Are you a federal employee looking for ways to give back this holiday season? Find out how the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) can help! CFC is the world's largest and most successful workplace charity campaign with nearly 200 individual campaigns throughout the nation and abroad raising millions of dollars each year.
The mission of the CFC is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee-focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all. Known to be the most inclusive workplace giving campaign in the world, the number of participating charities is estimated at over 20,000 nonprofit organizations worldwide.
To learn more about CFC, or to request a charity list or pledge form, contact your local CFC office. Use the campaign locator to find a location near you.
If you're not a federal employee, but still want to help those in need, The American Red Cross offers a variety of ways to give back such as fundraising, hosting a class or becoming a digital advocate. This year the American Red Cross responded to 146 big disasters including tornadoes, floods and fires. Many of those impacted by these tragedies are still recovering. No amount of recovery assistance is too small!
Not sure how your effort will help? View photos and read stories told firsthand by people sharing their personal experiences with the American Red Cross to learn more!
Staying Safe When Outdoors
Many of us are entering the coldest time of the year . Cold temperatures make your body lose heat faster than it can be produced. This condition results in abnormally low body temperature, also known as hypothermia .
Hypothermia affects the brain, leaving the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This inability makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it's happening. Victims of hypothermia are often:
- Seniors with inadequate heating, food or clothing;
- Babies sleeping in cold rooms; and
- People who remain outdoors for long periods like the homeless, hikers or hunters.
In extreme cold, make outside trips as brief as possible to protect your health and safety. However, if you must be outside take a few special precautions :
- Dress warmly and in layers. A waterproof jacket will help you stay warm and dry if it starts to snow;
- Work slowly if you have to do heavy outdoor chores; and
- Notify friends and family where you will be before you go hiking, camping or skiing.
Do not ignore shivering. It is an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Learn the other signs of hypothermia and how to care for someone who may be suffering from it before your next outdoor winter excursion.
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