Friday, May 30, 2014

Tip of the Day: Let's Assume That You're an Expatriate Residing in a Nation That You Were Not Born In

Hypothetically, let's assume that you're a foreign expatriate of any nation residing in a country that you were not born in.

Next, let's also conclude that you may or may not be employed and may be living off of investments, an annuity of one sort or another or may even be potentially employed in the country of your residence on a part-time or full-time basis. 

It is also assumed that regardless of your nationality, your home country takes responsibility to evacuate you from a country that you are resident under either permissive or hostile conditions. 

All governments generally have emergency action plans or contingencies that enable them to notify, advise, and assist in the evacuation of their citizens from countries undergoing political unrest, natural disasters or those experiencing political or natural disasters that may threaten foreign expats.

An excellent example of an international crisis occurred during the Summer of 2006, when some 60,000 foreigners were stranded in Lebanon after hostilities broke out between Israel and Hezbollah (the Iranian-supported Party of God):

See  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZGHKey0ut8  

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iITTOmrOQLY  

If you are employed abroad, familiarize yourself with how your employer and/or embassy or consulate will contact and assist you in getting out of the country you are resident in when governments recommend or mandate that their citizens leave the country. 

One critically important website that all expats should be familiar with is: 

http://www.sendwordnow.com, which is a particularly useful site that employers, entrepreneurs, NGOs, international organizations, etc. can use to simultaneously contact a select number of or all employees situated abroad. The site is also excellent for sending threat information and instructions to employees.

√ Register your visit abroad w/ your foreign affairs agency before departure;

√ Have a mobile that can communicate anywhere in the country of your destination;

√ Register your itinerary and download the agency's app to your mobile phone;

√  Input the nearest embassy or consulate phone number into your speed-dialer and know
     how to reach your consulate and/or embassy on foot;

If you are in a volatile nation where emergency evacuation is a possibility, carry the following on your person:

√  A photocopy of the photographic page of your passport;

√  Carry at least one credit card and one debit card;

√  To purchase international medical insurance go to:

http://www.insuremytrip.com;
√  If you are in a volatile country, travel with people you can trust for security reasons;

√  Always carry your phone charger, an extra battery and your mobile;

√  A list of family members, friends and people you can count on at home and at destination;

√  Carry a ten-day supply of all prescribed medication;

√  A small FM/SW radio with batteries to last two weeks;

√  Invest in a personal locator beacon which can notify friends and family where you are;

√  Always have a “get out” bag packed and ready. The ideal bag is one purchased locally;

√  One small backpack for every evacuee, including children;

The perfect “get out” bag should include duplicated items in the list above:

√  Inventory of household and personal items, vehicle documentation and contact 
     information for those who have keys to your home;

√  Mobile phone compatible with the country, charger and two extra charged batteries;

√  Photocopy of photo pages of passport as well as entry visas;

√  Clothing and toiletries that can last a week;

√  A small FM/SW radio with batteries with batteries to last two weeks;

√  Under-garment device capable of transporting hard currency and credit cards; and

√  Two bottles of drinking water and two energy bars per person. Use very sparingly.
 
Don't Forget

√  Always carry small denominations of hard currency to pay for unexpected expenditures;

√  If you require an exit visa to leave the country know how to get one before departure; and

√   If you have pets, they must be left in the hands of local friends or family.