Understanding Travel Alerts

by Wendy VanHatten

The Department of State has launched new Travel Advisories and Alerts to make it easier for U.S. citizens to access clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information about every country in the world.

You can find out more by visiting https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/about-our-new-products.html.

I always register with the State Department before we travel. For instance, this is what I received from them prior to our last trip.

France, Level 2: Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in France. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to France:

• Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and large crowded public venues.
• Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to any ongoing police action.
• Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
• Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
• Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
• Review the Crime and Safety Report for France.
• U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler¿s Checklist.
Just good information to know before you travel.