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Table of Contents

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Lesson 2-4 Family Members

Family members must be aware of the potential terrorist and criminal threat at home and abroad. Ensure that your family members know and perform the following safeguards when traveling/living at home and abroad:

  • The threat risk for the area.
  • Where they are at all times. A simple orientation to the area could prevent them from straying into dangerous areas.
  • Keep the house locked and secured whenever absent from the house. Exercise caution upon return. Set up simple signals to alert family members or associates if there is danger.
  • Develop and practice emergency procedures for use in the home such as:
    • Evacuation due to fire.
    • Intruders in the residence upon arriving home.
    • Intruders breaking into the house.
  • Location and phone numbers of the U.S. Embassy, military base, neighbors, and all emergency services such as police, fire department, and medical services, and other safe locations for refuge or assistance.
  • Carry small cards with emergency phrases in the respective foreign language, and post these phrases by the telephone.
  • In preparation for emergencies, maintain survival items (e.g., supply of fresh water, nonperishable food, candles, lanterns, flashlights, extra batteries, blankets, portable radio, camping stove with spare fuel, axe, first aid kit, and other appropriate items). Consider maintaining a similar kit for your car for emergency situations in isolated areas.
  • Take an ample supply of medications that family members use. Also keep a copy of the prescription, statement from a physician, and know the generic name of the medication so you can reorder it abroad. Also, keep eyeglass prescriptions on hand.
  • Always carry identification documents. Carry a card stating blood type and allergies to particular medications. The card should be bilingual/multilingual—English and the host nation language(s).

Special Precautions for Children

  • Kidnapping is a potential tool used to extort ransom money that finances terrorist organizations or may be used as an attempt to force you to assist in a terrorist operation. Special precautions include the following:
  • Never leave children alone or unattended. Leave children only with responsible and trustworthy individuals capable of handling emergency situations.
  • Instruct children to keep doors and windows locked, and never to allow strangers into the house. Discourage children from answering the door, especially during hours of darkness.
  • If possible, locate children’s rooms in areas not easily accessible from the outside.
  • Instruct children to never leave home without telling the parents. They should only travel in groups and avoid isolated areas especially when travelling to and from school. Accompany young children to and from bus stops, where necessary.
  • Children should only use locally approved play areas where recreational activities are supervised by responsible adults and where police protection is readily available.
  • Children should refuse automobile rides from strangers and refuse to accompany strangers anywhere on foot, even if a stranger says, “Your Mom/Dad sent me and said it was ok”.
  • Inform school authorities to never release children to any person who is not a family member. Instruct children to call home if a stranger is there to pick them up.
  • Children should be told to refuse gifts from strangers and to avoid providing information to strangers such as their name and where they live.
  • Children should immediately report anyone who attempts to approach them to the nearest person or authority (teacher, police).
  • Instruct children not to discuss what you do and tell them to inform you if they are questioned about you by anyone.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015