Security Guidelines for American Families Living Abroad   [open pdf - 302KB]

This publication is intended as a guideline for private sector personnel who travel and reside abroad. This booklet is a compilation of diverse security measures for consideration by American private sector employees and their families living and working outside the United States. Obviously, the implementation of security precautions described herein should be consistent with the level of risk currently existing in the foreign country of residence. Diverse political climates, local laws and customs, and a wide range of other variables make it impossible to apply standard security precautions worldwide. Levels of risk can change very rapidly, sometimes overnight, triggered by internal or external incidents or circumstances. It is advisable, therefore, to monitor continually the political climate and other factors which may impact the level of risk. Remember that establishing a family residence abroad requires much more security planning than a short-term visit to a foreign country for business or pleasure. It is essential that security precautions be kept under constant review so that they may be adapted to respond effectively to any changes in the level of risk. An inflexible security posture would be indicative of a disregard for the climate of risk and will almost certainly result in a lack of preparedness. Topics covered in this publication include: preliminary residential security planning; assessing the level of risk at overseas location; location of the residence; selection of residence; passport registration and other items to do after moving in; perimeter security; intrusion alarms and security lighting; extended absences from the residence; domestic hires--screening and responsibilities caution; family and company cars selection; auto travel; telephones; mail; banking and charge accounts; trash removal; quality of law enforcement protection; firearms in foreign countries; children's school; coups d'etat and emergency evacuations; social activities; spouse and dependent activity; watchdogs; recreation and exercise; illegal drugs and prescription medications; and lastly, bomb threats, bombings, extortion and kidnapping.

Report Number:
Department of State Publication 10215
Public Domain
Media Type:
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