Greetings Fellow Expats,
I am in the process of writing a Personal Security & Safety Guidebook for Expats living in Tunisia and would love your feedback.
What topics would you like to see cover? No topic is off limits…email your suggestions to: email@example.com
Personal safety 101…Overview of Security Situation…Hot Spots…Crime & Safety…Local Travel…Getting Connected…Emergency Situations…Residential Security…Documentation….Dealing with the authorities...Driving in Tunisia…Local Laws & Customs…Expat Community...Networking…Having fun (safely)…etc.,
(help other Expats during these challenging times by providing thoughtful suggestions …all entries will remain confidential)
2 thoughts on “TS Update-(Expat Feedback Wanted)”
travel outside of tunis area, customs and culture awareness, political briefs (ever changing…where to find the best and updated, unbiased information), etc. you have a thorough list!
p.s.) all the guide books are pre-9/14 and basically give sugar coated travel tips and advice for tourists…much needed updates, AND the wiki site for “teaching in tunisia” for ACST teachers and recruits is grossly out of date!!!
Here’s a little set of contingency thoughts for consideration:
1. Your best security and assets are your friends, neighbors, and fellow (local) believers. Good relationships and communication with them are important. Try to find a trusted, experienced person who will give you sound information about the atmosphere and stability of your local security (even with regard to neighborhood-local mindset about protection of foreigners, if possible).
2. Your spiritual mind-set and confident faith in God is THE KEY to emotional/mental stability. Read Scripture, pray, sing. It really helps provide perspective and “a sound mind” for decision making. This is not a blind, mindless, denial of real stress and real difficulties, or the excluding of the prudent potential for evacuation. It is informing your emotions to anchoring them on the truth.
3. Rumor management and discrimination is really important. In times like these, lots of rumors (some of them over radio and television) swing people’s minds to and fro. You need to think through how to evaluate or grade or judge information as to its reliability and trustworthiness. Just because some neighbor told you something they heard from some other neighbor, doesn’t mean that it is true. Even hearsay from expatriates needs to be sifted and evaluated: Is this person a trustworthy source? Where did they get the information? Are they emotionally stable or not? Is this information that requires us to act? or, is it something that is only one piece of a larger puzzle of decision factors?
4. Evacuation is a possibility — not just for safety of your life and health, but for preserving emotionally/mental health. i.e. — If you’re freaking out, you may need a partial or local evacuation into the care of others, even if you are not in imminent danger.
5. We’re NOT thinking evacuation yet. But, If you consider evacuation, consider the different types: e.g.: “Local” evacuation should be considered as a first step; international evacuation the big step – first to England )or Marseilles) *as per policy” for debriefing), then to USA; interventional (Americans told to evacuate via US helicopters) is the last resort.
6. Preparedness: three stages of “departure”. A. radical emergency – each person has a bag not more than eight pounds, if possible, with all confidential personal data, computer hard drives, back up drives, ID papers, etc. Probably not even a make-up or shaving kit. Not even clothes. B. “fast” departure – personal things locked up or hidden away as securely as possible in your home, you leave with one carry-on sized bag per person, even toiletries and clothes to cycle through indefinitely, DON’T forget the important papers, data, etc. you should take the eight pound data stuff with you in that carry-on. C. Longer-term, planned evacuation : as much luggage as airlines allow, secure transport to the airport, personal things secured as much as possible in your house, neighbors and/or friends commissioned to watch over your stuff. You might even consider asking a national friend to visit or live in the place in your absence (even if only occasionally to check up on it).
7. IF you have to evacuate, you will not know how long it would be before you could return, if ever. There are so many factors involved! A local evacuation could be two days or two weeks. An international evacuation could be two weeks or two years. Realize that re-integration can be tricky as well. Generally, it’s done in stages: a trusted, experienced person going back first, men making a trip to check on things before the family returns, etc.
8. Two-way radios, especially UHF/VHF radios could be important if mobile phone service gets taken down. It might be wise to find a source of good two-way radios with better than line-of-sight service. The ultimate is a satellite phone. The cheapest now is an ATT Terrestar satellite phone (costs about $800); it works on a standard SIM plus satellite capability, looks like a Blackberry.