Mt. Prospect, IL. (August 11, 2006) — Air Travelers need to “get prepared” for the possibilities of lengthier airport delays and being away from home longer than planned — perhaps without many of the personal necessities that are routine ingredients of the travel experience, according to Norris Beren, Executive Director of the Emergency Preparedness Institute, based in Mt. Prospect, IL.
Beren, author of “When Disaster Strikes Home” said all travelers — whether for business or pleasure, individual or family — need to be prepared before they head out the door for the airport by leaving many of their “everyday” items at home, reducing or altogether eliminating their carry-on bags, and having backup plans for communications and other activities should extended delays occur.
Beren, who has been involved in risk reduction for more than 30 years and a leading authority on emergency planning, offers these suggestions to travelers:
* Review everything you normally carry with you when traveling both in travel bag and business briefcase or purse
* Remove any liquids, gels or lotions of a personal care nature;
* Remove any aerosol cans such as hairspray, deodorant, breath freshener, eye glass cleaner as well as liquid filled candies or breath freshener;
* Replace prohibited liquid products with similar products available in other forms, such as liquid shampoos, anti-acids, and lotions with powder, solid or other versions that may be available (Check with your local, food, drug, or convenience store for appropriate substitute items)
Instead of…Dramamine caplets, Bring…Chewable Dramamine caplets
Instead of Hand sanitizer gel, bring Wet Ones moist wipes
Instead of Mouthwash, bring Listerine Pocket Packs
Instead of Pepto Bismol liquid, bring Pepto Bismol caplets
Instead of Sunscreen, bring Smart Shield sunscreen towelette with insect repellent
Instead of Shampoo, bring Lush solid shampoo
Instead of Toothpaste, bring Oral B Brush-Ups
Instead of Spray Deodorant, bring Solid Deodorant
* Seek out non liquid alternatives, such as dissolvable strips or pill forms of over the counter medications;
* As an alternative, pack all conventional liquids in a separate suitcase and check this as baggage. If it gets lost, the result is not tragic
* When possible check with your destination hotel or place you are staying for either a local place to buy necessary products or perhaps they are available at some hotels, such as shampoo, body lotion, etc.;
* Take a small box and a preprinted label from an express company or postage stamps and keep in your suitcase or brief case (broken down) in case you have to send back home some prohibited items. (Some airports have kiosks for mail back items or travelers assistance when necessary but this means getting out of line and perhaps losing time for making departures.); and
* Do not plan to buy prohibited items at departing airports but you may be able to get some items at arrival airports.
Beren also said the following should be considered in the event of delays:
* Based upon the eventuality of other events occurring and potential ground stops or mass flight cancellations it is necessary to make plans with family and friends when you might be away for a longer and unexpected period especially to handle the needs of children, pets and people with special needs. (Prepare a plan, rethink possible scenarios and communicate the plan to family and friends.);
* Travelers that do not have use of cell phones may need to make multi channel communications plans in advance with family in case communications are interrupted by an event;
* Have more than one point of contact to give and get information to family;
* Have coins and calling cards for public phones;
* When cell phones are able to be used have a spare battery and wind up charger;
* Have important contact information and phone numbers available in paper format including text-messaging addresses;
* Do not take key Fobs to the airport; they might be prohibited and be careful of battery operated watches, they can be used as a detonator;
* Carry a portable radio and flashlight in your baggage.
To reduce stress and for personal comfort, Beren said, make certain you have comfortable walking shoes.
Additional information about the Emergency Preparedness Institute can be found at www.getprepared.org
It’s a drag to have to post this kind of information, but it is a reality of travel today. While ITKT does not necessarily agree with all the brand names mentioned, it is a good list to start with and things to consider when travelling. – ITKT Editor-