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News to UseBringing perspecitve and secrurity back to traveling
As the May/June issue of EnCompass goes to press, Colorado is experiencing one of those wonderful warm spells before spring officially starts—making many people feel itchy for the excitement and rejuvenation of travel.
At the same time, though, war hangs in the air, stimulating a desire to stay put.
While it's up to each individual to decide to travel or stay home, here are a few ideas to consider. According to Bruce McIndoe, CEO of the travel risk management company iJET Travel Intelligence, when it comes to fatalities, the one-year, historical odds for an average American dying are:
For today's traveler, there are three critical actions that should be taken: buy travel insurance, find up-to-the-minute travel information and take individual precautions.
When it comes to travel insurance, travel professionals will strongly recommend every traveler have cancellation and medical evacuation insurance. While war is not covered in cancellation insurance, a terrorist attack usually is (ask your AAA Travel professional for details).
As for up-to-the-minute travel information, such as travel alerts and advisories, try the U.S. Department of State (www.travel.state.gov; or its hotline, 202-647-5225), the U.S. Overseas Advisory Council (www. dsosac.org; 202-663-0533) or the World Health Organization (www.who.int; 202-974-3000).
Another information-gathering option is a travel intelligence company. An example is iJET Travel Intelligence (www.ijet.com), which monitors 180 countries, 260 cities and offers a variety of services. For $14.95 you can access iJET's weekly travel intelligence reports on Amazon.com. They provide travelers with a single destination briefing that includes information and alerts updated weekly. For $25 you can get a fully customizable service which provides itinerary-specific travel intelligence reports, real-time travel alerts and a personalized website.
As to personal actions you can take, remember to:
Notable national events
Flag Day, June 14, recognizes one of our most cherished national symbols, which has flown to the moon, sat on Mount Everest and is displayed at every school and government building in America. Further information: www.libertynet. org/iha/betsy/index.html.
Static electricity can possibly cause refueling fires
The Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) has initiated a "Stop Static" campaign to increase public awareness of the potential danger posed by the discharge of static electricity. To date, PEI reports more than 150 refueling fires have been documented that appear to be caused by a discharge of static electricity.
On its website, PEI also mentions an e-mail circulating on the Internet that suggests cell phones can cause refueling fires and responds with: "In fact, PEI has never been able to document a single refueling incident caused by a cell phone."
Three rules for safe refueling are:
1. Turn off your engine before refueling.
2. Don't smoke while refueling.
3. Never re-enter your vehicle while refueling.
Further information: 918-494-9696; www.pei.org.
How to avoid tangling with a twister
Late May and June are prime time for trouble in Colorado's "tornado alley." Twisters strike most often across the plains, especially from the Denver area northeast, and only rarely west of the Divide. Thankfully, we don't get many violent tornadoes: ours tend to be weaker and shorter-lived than in places such as Kansas or Texas. Some are "landspouts"—related to the spouts that dance over lakes and oceans. Here are a few tips:
How old are Mom and Dad?
The earliest Mother's Day (this year on May 11) can be traced back to ancient Greek spring celebrations for Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, and to 1600s England, which observed a spring "Mothering Sunday," according to www.holidays.net/mother/story.htm.
The same website (but with /father/story.htm) debunks the myth that Father's Day (now on the third Sunday in June) was started to boost greeting card sales. Before such cards existed, Mrs. John B. Dodd of Washington State proposed the idea in 1909 because she wanted to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran.
Happenings in our own backyard
Beware of international driving permit scams
The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on bogus online marketers of international driving permits (IDPs). An IDP is no substitute for a legitimate driver's license. Authentic IDPs and Inter-American Driving Permits (IADPs) simply translate a motorist's state driver's license for use when traveling outside the United States.
AAA Connection: AAA is one of just two organizations authorized by the U.S. State Department to sell the documents. An IDP costs $10 and can be bought at any AAA office or online at www.aaa.com.
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