When The Ground Shakes Under Your Feet

All eyes turned to Ecuador this past April, the world’s thoughts and prayers with those affected by the earthquake there.  Just days before, Japan suffered a series of earthquakes and aftershocks.

A byproduct of residing or visiting somewhere in the Ring of Fire – a large area of Pacific Ocean basin with intense seismic and volcanic activity – is living with the possibility of devastating natural disasters.

Global mobility managers are acutely aware of these risks, and those following best practices have communications and procedures in place to help when risk become reality. We at Living Abroad follow these events also.

Did you know that clients of International Relocation Center (IRC) country reports can access relevant information quickly and easily? Just a few clicks from the IRC’s Ecuador homepage, users find these links via “Security Alerts”:

Australia: http://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/ecuador

Natural disasters are frightening enough. To be a traveler or an expatriate in a foreign land in such circumstances adds an extra burden of uncertainty and layer of stress. International travelers can help themselves by registering with their government’s local embassy or consulate to ease communication and assistance in an emergency. They can have a family plan in place, including details about where to meet or whom to contact should the usual means of communication or transport fail.

Many governments in at-risk locations have their own preparedness tips. For example, New Zealand’s “Get Ready, Get Thru” website covers preparation and know-how for earthquakes and other events.  The U.S. government provides a “Ready” website explaining what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.  (You will find these in the “Security” articles of our New Zealand and USA reports.)

And before you assume that Californians bear the main risk for earthquakes in the U.S., in 2015 the US Geological Survey (USGS) released new information that states nearly half of all Americans are at risk for damage and shaking from earthquakes.

In closing, we return to Ecuador, and to the knowledge that the global mobility industry is peopled by some of the best individuals on the planet. Among these are our friends at Ecuador’s LARM (Latin American Relocation Management) office. We wish them all the best during this difficult time, and share a link to the Red Cross in Ecuador, should anyone like to support the earthquake recovery effort there: http://www.cruzroja.org.ec

It’s important to be prepared for any natural disaster.  With Living Abroad’s International Relocation Center, detailed information on security, reminders to register with your local embassy or consulate, as well as direct links to local police and fire department can save an assignee time in the face of an emergency.  Help keep your international assignees and business travelers informed with a subscription to the International Relocation Center.

Written by Ellen Harris, GMS, Living Abroad-International Product Director