Staying Safe in Your New Country
No matter what country in the world you live in you’re always at risk of a negative experience or being the victim of crime at some point. If you’re lucky, it will be something you will never have to experience anywhere in the world. As a new migrant however, the unfamiliarity with your surroundings and local customs may put you more at risk.
Always Know Where You Are and Where You’re GoingAs basic as it sounds, it is vitally important in a new country to always know where you’re going and where you are. If it is possible, let someone close to you know where you are going, even if this means leaving details of travel plans and places where you may be stopping for the night. It is very normal when you first arrive in a new country to travel around for some time. Keep an itinerary of exactly where you’re going and give one to friends in the UK. This means they will always know where you are and can get in touch if they need to. It will give them peace of mind, but will also keep you on schedule with your own plans. If you’re travelling a lot by car, always keep a safety kit in the car for emergencies. Have a first aid kit, bottles of water, a blanket, a mobile phone and if you can afford it invest in a satellite navigation system. This way, if you do get lost, you will always be able to find out where you are. Also if you have an accident or breakdown, help will be able to locate you quickly. Always remember to remove your sat nav from the car if you can. It’s a welcome sign to thieves if you leave it in there.
If you have a rental car, it can often be a target for criminals. Dependent on where you are, this may be a common problem. Just remember never to stop for anyone unless it is a police car and don’t get out of your car unless it is life or death. If you have an accident, deal with it as you would in the UK. Always obtain the other drivers details and wait for help or the police if necessary. Getting to know the local road laws will ensure you’re staying safe on the road as much as possible. If you don’t feel confident, get some extra lessons, or alternatively read some of the local Highway Code.
Local Customs and LawsOne of the most important things you can do when arriving in a new country is familiarise yourself with the emergency number. Your new country will have its own equivalent of 999 and you should learn this as soon as you arrive, on the off chance that you may need it. Also make sure that any family members with you know the number. It is often a good idea to locate your local police station and to get their number and save it to your phone or on a piece of paper near your house phone. Often, contacting the local police office can be used instead of the emergency number. Many countries will have various choices of emergency services and you should research which is best suited to you and your location. Get to know your new neighbours, explain to them you’re new to the area and local laws. Often, having neighbours who will keep their eyes and ears open for you is as good as expensive home security. Obviously, if you can afford this however you should get it.
Anything that will give you peace of mind is a good investment. Ultimately following the same rules as you do in the UK will be of most benefit to you.
Safety First in Your New HomeAlways remember that moving to a new country will take a great deal of adapting on both a personal and social level. Learning as much as you can about your local area and any crime that occurs there will enable you to best equip yourself with the right tools to stay safe. Many countries or areas within them may have a better standard of life than what you were used to in the UK. After all, that is why you’ve made the move in the first place so just remember to enjoy your new life. Finding out the address and number of the embassy in your new country is always a good idea too, in case you need them in the future.
As long as you follow some basic principles of safety, you’ll have a happy and contented start to your new life abroad.