Friday, November 13, 2015

Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov.
13,
2015.
Police officials in France on Friday reported a shootout in a Paris
restaurant and an explosion in a bar near a Paris stadium.
It was unclear if
the events were linked.
(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
The world is watching the
horrifying developments of three attacks right now in the French capital of
Paris."Situations like this are terrifying for anyone in the city, but
especially so for the tens of thousands of tourists who are there right
now.
Not knowing the local streets, having anyone to turn to in a crisis or
speaking the language adds another layer of fright to an already frightening
situation.Here are a few of the things you should do if you are visiting Paris
right now.1.
Find Shelter.
In a wonderful display of humanity, locals are
offering up their homes and businesses using the hashtag"#porteouverte or
"open door" to let people know they have a safe place to stay.
Alternatively
you can tweet"#porteouverte along with your location to try to find a place to
stay.Local hotels are also offering shelter and assistance to get you safely
where you need to go.
Use Google maps to find the closest one.2.
Get cash.
You
don"t want to be caught in any kind of crisis without local currency.
If you
can safely get to an ATM do so and try to have at least a couple hundred
dollars in Euros available to you.3.
Account for everyone in your
group.
Confirm the whereabouts of everyone traveling with you.
If any family
or group members are missing, first check with the hotel and then inform the
local embassy or consulate for your home country.
The State Department (U.S.),
Foreign Office (U.K.), or other local diplomatic authority will maintain a
list of their citizens who have been killed, are missing, are injured, or have
been accounted for.4.
Check in back home."Inform family and friends back home
of your whereabouts and situation as soon as possible.
Amid the confusion and
devastation following an attack, it can be hard for people to get word out to
loved ones via phone.
Consider alternative forms of communication, such as
social media accounts or email."5."Follow @TravelGov"on social media.
This
will give you real time updates and instructions.6."Touch base with the local
American Embassy.
It"s their job to help you, and they can better assist if
they know where you are and what your situation is.
Plus, "It"s comforting to
know that someone knows you"re there," says Andrea Ross, owner of travel
company Journeys Within."7.
Avoid crowds.
In the wake of a crisis, don"t use
public transportation during rush hour.
Instead travel at off times or use a
licensed taxi.
And stay away from crowds and congested areas.
"People are on
edge, so if they think something is happening and panic there could be a
stampede or other dangerous situation," advises Ross."
8.
Be extra
alert.
"Very often people on holiday let down their guards and are not as
aware of what"s going on around," explains the State Department"s Michelle
Bernier Toth, Managing Director for Overseas Citizen Services.
"Look for
things like unattended packages, weird behavior, and people over dressed for
environment," says George Taylor, VP of Global Operations at integrated risk
management company iJet."
Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant,
Friday, Nov.
13, 2015.
Police officials in France on Friday reported a
shootout in a Paris restaurant and an explosion in a bar near a Paris
stadium..Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov.
13,
2015.
Police officials in France on Friday reported a shootout in a Paris
restaurant and an explosion in a bar near a Paris stadium.

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