FCDO advice: How to Reduce Your Risk from Terrorism Abroad

Sadly we are all potentially at risk from a terrorist attack, whether at home or abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly looking for easy targets, places such as bars, restaurants and tourist sites that aren’t well protected and where western tourists can be found.

FCO Travel Aware

Run. Tell. Hide

So, before you head off on your next holiday, it’s worth watching this video from The UK’s National Counter Terrorism Security Office.

The video is only 4 minutes long and draws attention to the steps you can take to minimise the impact of a terrorist attack.  The central message of the film is Run, Hide, Tell.

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  • Run. To a place of safety
  • Hide. Barricade yourself in and remember to turn your phone to silent
  • Tell. Once you are in a safe place call the police

Minimise Your Risk From Terrorism

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has also produced the following tips to help you minimise your risk from terrorism whilst you are abroad.

If you’re travelling abroad you should regularly check the FCDO’s travel advice for the country you’re visiting and subscribe to email alerts and the FCDO Travel twitter channel for updates.
The FCDO constantly reviews the threat to British nationals from international terrorism and as far as possible will reflect any credible threats in travel advice. As a general principle you should follow the advice of the local authorities in the country you’re in.

You can minimise your risk from terrorism by taking the following steps:

  • follow media reporting about the country and region
  • be vigilant in public areas and places that attract foreigners and westerners – eg hotels, restaurants, bars and crowded places like markets, malls or sports events. Always be aware of your surroundings
  • be vigilant around significant religious occasions (including the holy month of Ramadan) and public holidays; terrorist groups sometimes call for attacks around these times; during Ramadan in 2016, terrorists attacked Istanbul airport, a café in Dhaka and carried out several attacks in Saudi Arabia
  • look out for anything suspicious and if you see anything report it to the local police immediately – many terrorist attacks are foiled by the vigilance of the public. Where appropriate, you should also report concerns to your employer or your travel company
  • think about the routes you use and have a plan of action to follow in the event of an incident
  • try to avoid routines that could make you an easier target – vary the time and route of your regular journeys
  • keep your mobile phone charged and with you, with emergency numbers programmed in
  • consider the extent to which you might stand out from the crowd, particularly when travelling off the beaten track or to out-of-town destinations
  • be discreet on social media about yourself and your travel and social plans
  • tell family, colleagues, neighbours or trusted hotel staff about where you’re going and when you plan to return
  • identify places where you could seek refuge in an emergency
  • in airports, minimise the time spent in the public area, which is generally less well protected. Move quickly from the check-in counter to the secured areas. Upon arrival, leave the airport as soon as possible.