Travelers should check travel advisories before going abroad

Travelers should check travel advisories before going abroad

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) -- The U.S. Department of State says the first step in planning a trip abroad should be to check travel advisories for the destination. As seen recently in Haiti, political violence can happen without warning, and U.S. citizens should be aware of the political climate when traveling.

U.S. government facilities are always in a state of alert, ready to provide emergency services. Citizens should do their part to be vigilant and stay in contact with the nearest U.S. embassy.

Nicole Hawkinson's daughter was close to the rioting in Haiti. And she, too, found herself in a similar situation when she was there a few years ago.

"The fact is I wish they could write letters to their representatives like we can. But that's not how it works. There is a lot of corruption. Building roadblocks is the way they get the government to listen," said Hawkinson.

"There were buses turned over, fires, even times we heard gunshots. It's something you'd think turn us away from the people of Haiti, but I knew the desperation."

U.S. citizens are encouraged to check travel advisories online before leaving the country. Travelers can also sign up for security messages and make it easier to be located in an emergency.

In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate or call the following numbers: 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.

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