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Going Global Employment Danger Zones: How to Prepare For An Emergency, What To Do If You Are Caught in One

(March 18, 2011) There are 2.2 million foreigners, including a good number of Americans, currently living and working in Japan and all of them should have an exit strategy, explains Going Global, the leading provider of country-specific employment information.

This month, many overseas workers suddenly found themselves caught in the middle of Japan's powerful earthquake, along with its aftershocks and resulting tsunami, and are facing the threat of radiation exposure. In another part of the world, the political crisis in Egypt and the Middle East has not only caused food and gas shortages, but Americans working there may face dangerous unrest in the streets.

As businesses expand into new global markets, 10 percent of employees who are sent abroad from the U.S. are assigned to countries that are considered dangerous or have harsh living conditions.

"While employment in a foreign country can be a dream come true, anyone working outside their native soil should have an exit strategy in place and be prepared for a hasty departure - even if they are working in countries that are considered ‘safe'," says global employment expert Mary Anne Thompson, founder of Going Global.

"Your first step should be to register with the appropriate embassy and consulate and regularly update your contact information. This will assure you will be notified and continually updated by the U.S. State Department in the event of a disaster or crisis in your host country," Thompson said.

Employers with overseas workers have a priority to protect their human capital abroad and should have a risk management plan in place to ensure their employees are as safe as possible wherever they are in the world. Companies should also buy travel insurance policies, monitor the movement of their employees, hire medical evacuators and security companies to protect overseas offices.

While both the U.S. government and companies with employees overseas map out strategies to help citizens exit dangerous situations abroad, it is also the responsibility of the individual to be organized and prepared for the unthinkable.

"You should keep abreast of local political, social and meteorological developments, and have a personal safety plan and escape route," Thompson says. "Keep a three-day supply of food and water on hand and your important papers in one location. Being prepared helps keep you safe."

Going Global offers these tips for working in a foreign country:
  • Stay on top of local political, social and meteorological developments.
  • Register with the appropriate embassy and consulate and regularly update your contact information.
  • Have a personal safety plan and escape route.
  • Plan a way for family members to stay in contact.
  • Keep a few vital supplies (food, water, flashlight, battery-powered radio, cell phone with chargers, passport, visas, local maps, emergency phone numbers, first aid kit, etc.) on hand.
  • Maintain a reserve of cash in smaller denominations.
  • Be aware of the ways to leave the country (planes, trains, ferries, etc.)
  • Learn some basic safety skills.
For employment, career and culture resources in other countries, visit

About Going Global
Going Global founder Mary Anne Thompson is an internationally recognized expert on global careers. A former White House attorney, she launched Going Global while living as an expat in Stockholm, Sweden. Today, Going Global is the leader in providing country-specific career content targeted to professionals seeking to begin or change careers both at home and abroad. With career guides for more than 80 locations, the company's proprietary content supports the job aspirations of more than one million individuals, and includes corporate profiles and millions of job opportunities. Ms. Thompson's first book, The Global Resume & CV Guide (John Wiley, Publisher), was the first publication on the market with worldwide job-hunting advice.

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