There are several things that you can do to deter automobile theft. The key concept is to make your vehicle undesirable to a thief. This is the idea of target hardening. Thieves look for vehicles that can easily blend in to the traffic and popular models with a large used parts market. Here are some things you can do to deter thieves, particularly if you have a common model.
- Always lock your doors
- Keep your windows up
- Install a car alarm
- Install a gear shift lock
- Etch your registration number on the glass/paint your registration number on the vehicle
- Paint your vehicle so that it is unique and easy to spot (see picture)
- Hide valuables out of site
- Keep a dog in your car
- Park in lots with guards/attendants
- Park in lighted areas
- Disconnect distributor cap or battery if leaving for a long period of time
Do you train you missionaries in basic emergency preparedness? If you’re looking for something basic, here are some resources for a one-hour class designed for short-term missions trip participants. Click the Security category to see other video resources.
There are several things that you can do now that will help during and emergency. One important thing is to keep your information up to date with your teammates and the mission office. A simple way to collect various types of information is a Microsoft Word document, or DOC file. This common file type may be used to store text, pictures, maps, drawings, and more. It can also be viewed and edited on any computer and most smartphones and mobile devices. It does not require an internet connection or database skills, but can easily be emailed or stored on a USB drive. Here is a sample Emergency Information Form that you could complete and send to your teammates and supervisor. Download as DOCPDF
As you move to another country, it is important to register with your country’s embassy. Registration with the embassy will allow them to contact you in the event of an emergency, notify you about other events, verify your presence there, and help them serve you better. You can register online through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Visit the online registration site.
- How long can I stay in the country?
- What documents should I carry with me?
- What documents do I need to drive?
- What taxes, fee, or duties will I need to pay?
- What should I do in case of an accident or emergency?
- What laws relate to hiring workers?
- Register with the embassy
- Get a mobile phone
- Get an internet connection
- How can I change dollars to local currency?
- Is it recommended to use credit or debit cards?
- Where is an ATM machine?
- How will I receive my financial support?
- What expenses may be reimbursed and what is the procedure?
- Will I have a cash advance for work or medical treatment?
Get moved in
- Where will I live?
- Will I have house help, yard workers, or a guard?
- Are there any crime or safety issues related to my residence?
- How much are monthly utility costs?
- What should I do if there are housing or utility problems?
- Where should I shop?
- How much should I expect to pay for common goods? Should I bargain?
- Where is the hospital or clinic?
- Where is the pharmacy?
- What doctors do you recommend?
- Where is a safe place I can go if case of emergency?
As important as it is to maintain good insurance as you serve overseas, it is equally important to have the right kind of insurance and know how to use it. Whether you are serving for a couple weeks or a lifetime, you need to make sure your insurance will travel overseas with you. Here are some things to look for in an insurance policy.
- Medical Coverage – accident, sickness, evacuation/repatriation, family travel, accidental death & dismemberment, hospital deposit/cash advance, return of mortal remains
- Security Coverage – crisis management, political evacuation
- Liability Coverage – legal defense
- Worker’s Compensation – extension of US worker’s comp
Two agencies that specialize in missionary insurance are listed below. They offer insurance for mission agencies, churches, short-term trips, and others serving overseas.
- AirSecurity HOTSPOTS Subscribe to this daily email
- OSAC Daily Newsletters Subscribe to this daily email More about the OSAC
- CNN International Sign up for email/sms alerts
- BBC mobile site regional news services Signup for email/sms alerts
- Google Alerts
- Google News
- Press Display
- Twitter Search
Other Sites that may be helpful
Are you prepared for an emergency situation? Have you accessed the risk and developed contingency plans with your team? Here are some good resources (PDF files) from large humanitarian organizations that help give a overview of security preparation.
If you are looking for a way to equip short-term volunteer teams in the area of security, here is a great tool. Fort Sherman Academy has produced a DVD called Safe Travel Solutions. In six training modules, your team will learn how to handle hostage situations, demands for information, and general criminal activity. More than generic security tips, this training is specifically designed for missionary volunteer teams serving overseas. A key ingredient is the true testimonies of missionaries and short-term participants who were victims of various crimes. This training is vital for new and experienced teams. View short excerpts below or check it out at SafeTravelSolutions.org
- Keep it Confidential
- Who is your Bob
- Information Security
- Three Basic Rules of Thumb
- Individual Movement Security
- How to Counter Surveillance
- Dealing with Unfriendly Governments 1
- Dealing with Unfriendly Governments 2
- Real Stories of Government Detention
- Going Through Customs 1
- Going Through Customs 2
- Demands for Information