By: Norris Beren, Risk Reduction Education, Inc./Emergency Preparedness Institute
Norris Beren is a Medjet member, author, speaker and trainer in the field emergency preparedness for families and business. For more information on Norris Beren please visit www.getpreparedtoday.org.
Information is your best friend right now. We tend to hear but not always listen to the media with regards to these and other types of dangerous warnings. I have identified some key concerns and steps you and your family and business, churches and other people you care about need to understand and implement. Please take this seriously. It can help everyone.
Educating people especially at work, schools and businesses is critical. Many businesses and government agencies have established pandemic emergency strategies. Many have not. Now is the time to execute that plan or develop one.
Information provided to Medjet by:
Norris L. Beren, Host of The “Preparedness Report” WGPN Radio
Emergency Preparedness Institute/Risk Reduction Education, Inc.
Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Author, Media Contributor
www.getprepared.org • www.getpreparedtoday.org • www.myemspace.com
Medjet Travel Protection Blog – On that cold, clear September morning I knew within minutes of arriving at the airport that this safari experience would be different from any other.
As our small group of travelers assembled in Kigali, Rwanda, I found it hard to focus on anything other than the one question I had been asking myself for the last few months, “How would my first encounter with a Mountain Gorilla unfold?”
My mind raced to the many questions that make up that big one, “How long and how steep will the climb up be? Am I fit enough to get up the mountain? What would the conditions underfoot be? How much light will there be? Will we get rained on? How do I keep my camera equipment dry? What about the altitude?”
In Rwanda, there are currently 7 families of habituated gorillas and every day a maximum of 8 travelers per group hike up the volcanoes for their allotted 1 hour visit. On the morning that our two 4 wheel drive Land Rover Defenders rolled out of Kigali amid the honking and the dust, I could feel the expectations being carried by my travelers and could have sworn I heard a collective chant from the vehicles “Go-ri-lla! Go-ri-lla! Go-ri-lla!”
The drive was filled with sights unique to this land of a thousand hills – streams of men and women laden with their goods for the city’s markets, groups of children in uniform walking to their small schools, road-side stalls with everyday wares for sale and farmers in the fields tending their crops. This hilly region of Central Africa offers some fantastic vistas. But nothing prepared me for the human density that we encountered in the town of Ruhengeri, the gateway to Volcanoes National Park and the regional headquarters of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP).
As we drove through the white steel gates at the MGVP, we were warmly greeted by the ever-smiling regional field veterinarian Dr. Magdalena Mukasik-Braum and one of her assistants. The MGVP supports a massive conservation effort for this endangered species.
The estimated total global mountain gorilla population is around 700 and today they occur in only two places on the African continent: the Virunga Volcanoes where the countries of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) meet and the Bwindi impenetrable forest in Uganda. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists the total population as declining and is only one stepping stone away from “Extinct in the Wild.”
The presentation and tour of the facility and laboratory increased the sense of urgency among my travelers. I could hear the chanting getting louder as we drove the 35 minutes to Virunga Lodge for our four night stay.
With the Sabyinyo and Muhabura volcanoes rising high to our left and amazing views of Lake Bulera and Ruhondo from the breakfast table at the lodge, the travelers’ silent chanting had become a deafening roar, and for a moment I saw them all pounding their fists on the breakfast table “Go-ri-lla! Go-ri-lla! Go-ri-lla!”
TO BE CONTINUED…
The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project
Please take some time to learn more about this under-funded operation and the work they do by visiting the website for Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project at www.mgvp.org.
About The Virunga Lodge
Set high on the top of a hill that overlooks both Lake Bulera and Lake Ruhondo, each of the eight guest rooms and all common areas afford amazing views of the lakes. This property has been identified as one of the most environmentally friendly stays in Africa with its bucket showers and dry human waste management system. Hospitality is warm and friendly and all staff members are very accommodating. The kitchen is able to work with travelers who have special dietary requirements and requests.
As seen in the Everett Potter’s Travel Report…
If you become seriously ill or injured while you’re traveling – that’s ill as in requiring hospitalization – you’ll likely want nothing more than to be at home with your family and your own doctor in a nearby hospital.
But guess who pays to have you repatriated on a medical flight?
If you answered your health insurance policy, your travel insurance policy or a Platinum level credit card, you’re wrong. They won’t cover you. You’ll have to pay for it yourself – and it will cost you a fortune. A one-way medical flight from Western Europe to the US runs $70,000 and up.
Or you can purchase an emergency medical evacuation membership before you go from a provider such as MedjetAssist. If you’re hospitalized more than 150 miles away from home, they can provide you with a medically equipped and staffed aircraft to fly you free of charge to the hospital of your choice. MedjetAssist is based in Birmingham, Alabama and is the exclusive provider of worldwide air ambulance and medical repatriation services for AARP. I asked Roy Berger, President/CEO of MedjetAssist, to explain how it works and how it differs from travel insurance.
If you think yoga is relaxing then you are going to love this, Canadian Mountain Holidays is now offering Heli-Yoga. High alpine meadows, glaciers, majestic mountains, and abundant wildflowers in the Canadian Rockies – with all these components, Heli-Hiking with CMH (Canadian Mountain Holidays) has long had a reputation for instilling a sense of peace and serenity in its guests. This year, the company is taking this reputation to new heights with the introduction of a Heli-Yoga trip – offering the ultimate in body and soul restoration.
From July 24 – 27, 10 guests will have the opportunity to join yoga master Anne Douglas at CMH’s remote Bugaboo Lodge in the mountains of Western Canada. In addition to morning yoga sessions at the lodge, a walking meditation session and seated guided meditation session will be offered out in the mountains during the daily Heli-Hiking. Special evening sessions, after a casual gourmet dinner, will include:
Yoga and hiking are tailored to all abilities. Cost per person is CAD $2,490 (double occupancy) and includes all meals, guided hikes, yoga sessions, use of hiking equipment, helicopter rides, transportation to and from Banff.
For more information contact your preferred travel agent or go to www.canadianmountainholidays.com.
Posted on April 9, 2009
Filed Under Travel Warnings -- From www.travel.state.gov | Comments Off
The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Georgia. This Travel Warning replaces the one dated December 12, 2008 to note the possibility of violent demonstrations.
American citizens are urged not to travel to the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and to be aware that the potential exists for gunfire, increased risk of crime, and ongoing potential for violence in these and areas adjacent to these regions.
The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi has limited travel for its employees in areas adjacent to the region of South Ossetia, to include all roads north of the M-1 (East/West Highway) that lead to the region of South Ossetia; areas adjacent to the region of Abkhazia, including the Tsalenjikha District of the Samegrelo Region; and the region of the Pankisi Gorge, north of the city Akhmeta, up to the border with Russia.
Unexploded ordnance continues to pose risks in the areas where fighting took place in August 2008, including around the city of Gori in the direction of the administrative boundary with South Ossetia. Travel in some parts of western Georgia remains unpredictable
American citizens currently in Georgia are urged to continue to review their personal security situations and to take appropriate action to ensure their safety. Given the recent upheaval in Georgia, American citizens should take precautions in case of an increase in violent crime. Demonstrations can occur without notice and even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. The U.S. Embassy advises all Americans in Georgia to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. American citizens are encouraged to remain in close communication with the American Embassy in Tbilisi for more detailed information.
American citizens should monitor the U.S. Embassy web site, http://georgia.usembassy.gov/, and stay in contact with family and friends in the United States. American citizens in Tbilisi may also tune in to Radio Syndicati at FM 104.3 or throughout Georgia at Radio Green Wave at FM 107.4 for updated U.S. Embassy Warden Message information.
Family members and friends unable to verify the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens in the affected area should call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or from other areas via a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). U.S. citizens in the area are urged to monitor the local news. Those residing or traveling in Georgia are reminded to register with the U.S. Embassy either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ or in person at U.S. Embassy Tbilisi so they can obtain updated information on travel and security. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs’ web site at http://travel.state.gov/, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, Country Specific Information, and health information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi is located at 11 George Balanchine Street (in Didi Dighomi), Tbilisi 0131, Georgia, tel: 995-32-27-70-00. The after-hours emergency number is 995-99-57-39-69, or, if dialing locally on a mobile telephone, 899-57-39-69.keep looking »