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On the Road…..Again?

Jet preparing to land.

Take steps to ensure safe travel during holidays.

It’s that time already. Hitch up your wagons and travel on the open road or by air to the holiday destination of your choice. While traveling during this time might fill you with dread, we have some tips about safe holiday travel, which we hope will smooth your trip.

Air travel has become increasingly frustrating for passengers and airline staff, alike. More fees and less service are not traditional hallmarks of good business. But airlines have a corner on the market. So they play by a different set of rules. Nevertheless, these hints will help your travel the friendly skies.

Watch your connections. Imagine you have to fly in late December from San Diego to Orlando and have a choice of a three-hour layover in Dallas or a one-hour stop in Chicago. While you might not relish three hours in the airport, consider what happens weather-wise in Chicago in winter. Snow. Lots of it. That means airport delays, potentially dangerous landings and fun “de-icing” experiences.

Expected the unexpected. Delays happen. Computers do crash.

So try not to sweat the small stuff.

Give yourself plenty of time. While you probably do not need to arrive two hours early for a mid-week flight to Des Moines in October, your family holiday trip in December will require extra time at baggage-check-in, security, and at the gate. Also consider the drive to and from the airport. Stress can be dangerous to your health as well as to others around you. So plan ahead to avoid the necessity of driving too fast to the airport.

What about those TSA pat-downs and scans? Early reports state that air travel is not too backed up and “opt-out” protests have not caught on. Despite the growing hysteria, scientific review of body scan machines shows that they are safe. According to data, people receive more radiation in two minutes of 30,000 foot flight than they do from scanners. Try to remember that security scans mean safer travel for everyone.

  • If you are packing up the family wagon and driving to your destination, consider the fact that you won’t be alone on the road. According to AAA, in 2009 there were 87.7 million Americans that traveled 50 miles or more during the year-end holidays. Follow some common sense tips to help you get through a potentially stressful drive.
  • Even if your travels do not take you to a remote town in Montana, it’s important you take steps to make sure you are prepared for the open road. Pack an emergency kit as well as other helpful supplies:
  • Bring several gallons of bottled water. These are useful for both drinking and emergency radiator usage.
  • Everyone needs to eat. If you get stuck in a blizzard, you will want some non-perishable food with some protein to keep you alert.
  • Traveling in snow? Check with local authorities to see if you need snow chains and bring along an extra bottle of antifreeze and a snow scraper.
  • Road flares and a triangle warning sign are vital in case of a breakdown.
  • Even modern car batteries can lose their charge. Bring jumper cables for your car and in case you are called upon to serve as a Good Samaritan for another motorist.
  • Once your emergency kit is set, you can concentrate on your actual journey:
  • Put your phone down! Statistics show thousands of people die every year from accidents caused by distracted drivers. What’s more, in many states, using the phone or texting while driving is illegal.
  • Inspect your car before you go. Inflate and check your tires. Confirm you have antifreeze and that your oil has recently been changed.
  • Don’t drink and drive. While this tip should go without saying, it’s important to watch alcohol consumption during holiday parties.

Follow our tips and use common sense to get through traveling during the holidays. And remember that politeness and patience can go a long way during what is supposed to be a joyous time.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

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