Five Tips for Fearless Holiday Travel

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The holiday season is underway in a climate of uncertainty and fear. Between the global economic crisis, recent terror attacks in India, heightened security alerts in New York City, and violence in stores and malls, people are increasingly afraid about what to do if violence crosses their path. Steven Crimando, managing partner at XBRM (Extreme Behavioral Risk Management) in New York, is one of several leading behavioral experts in the US in the field of "Business Continuity." He says it's understandable why people may feel powerless.

Ultimately the individual can take a meaningful degree of control of their safety and security and venture out into the world with greater confidence and ease. Adjusting your own thoughts and behaviors is the place to start making your world safer and less fearful.

The holiday season is underway in a climate of uncertainty and fear. Between the global economic crisis, recent terror attacks in India, heightened security alerts in New York City, and violence in stores and malls, people are increasingly afraid about what to do if violence crosses their path.

Steven Crimando, managing partner at XBRM (Extreme Behavioral Risk Management) in New York, is one of several leading behavioral experts in the US in the field of "Business Continuity." He says it's understandable why people may feel powerless. "Ultimately the individual can take a meaningful degree of control of their safety and security and venture out into the world with greater confidence and ease. Adjusting your own thoughts and behaviors is the place to start making your world safer and less fearful."

Crimando offers 5 tips for fearless travel and a more relaxed Holiday season:

1.    Remember you are never a passive observer to your own safety. Your safety is a shared responsibility between you and emergency services authorities including police, security, and others. Pay attention to your surroundings including fire exits, bottlenecks in crowds, announcements and general conditions. The police and security staff cannot be everywhere at once. You must be the first line of defense; be alert, aware and proactive.

2.    Don't run from danger, run toward safety. While this is counterintuitive, running from danger, especially with a crowd or mob trying to escape, may very well put you at greater risk. Running toward safety advance planning and awareness. Mentally rehearse escape routes or survival behaviors before something actually happens.

3.    File a "Flight Plan". Just as a pilot plans and documents a route, let others know where you will be throughout the day and how you expect to travel from place to place. Whether it's a local drive or an overseas trip, share your approximate itinerary with someone. If they hear about a problem on radio or TV, they may be able to warn you. If you're in a jam and your family and friends know where you are expected to be, they can mobilize assistance if you don't arrive as scheduled. Create a communications plan ahead of time.

4.    Know Before You Go. Civil unrest, military conflicts and health risks such as disease outbreaks can surface suddenly and turn a vacation into nightmare. The U.S. State Department, and other sources, publishes travel advisories and warnings in real time.

Visit http://www.state.gov or http://www.firstgov.gov and consider bookmarking them on your mobile phone or e-mail.

5.    Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, it probably is. If you feel uncomfortable in your travels, give yourself permission to leave. Don't worry about how you will be perceived. You can always return later, on your terms, when you feel safe. Don't ignore your internal security system.

Another option is to reach out to support groups and professionals for counseling and help.

Crimando and XBRM specialize in workplace behaviors and psychology that are related to emergency and disaster organizational preparedness. The firm trains employers and employees in the growing field of the human factor of crisis management response. This includes responding to economic and financial turmoil, disasters, workplace violence, terrorism, and other crisis situations. XBRM is a division of AllSector Technology Group, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.xbrm.com.

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