Osama Bin Laden's death has sparked security fears around the world. Here's your guide to staying safe
Since her first assignment in war-torn Basra, Rosie Garthwaite has been gathering practical advice on how to get by in war zones and other dangerous destinations from fellow journalists and operators, including John Simpson, Sebastian Junger, Jon Snow and Terry Waite.
Here she lists her top tips for staying safe in the wake of the killing of Osama Bin Laden and recent unrest in the Middle East.
Riots seem to be springing up everywhere these days. Democracy is "in". Never trust a crowd and take a bag with enough water and kit to last you a day if you have to take refuge somewhere and can't get home. That includes your grab bag. Use antacid pills watered down in a bottle to dowse your eyes if you are hit with tear gas. And use a motorcycle helmet for protection
Have a small bag of essentials and keep it with you at all times. It should contain:
A phone Fully charged and ready to go, plus charger.
Pocket knife Make sure you take it out of your hand luggage at airports or security will take it off you. I have lost about 10 this way.
Cash $1000 plus several hundred dollars-worth of local money
Water Enough for a day
Food Some dried food, such as granola bars and raisins, and some tinned food, in tins that don't need a tin opener
Torch I find head-torches the most useful for day-to-day use
Medical kit Including all your prescription medicines
Matches And/or a lighter
One anonymous contributor to my book from Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) told me it saved the life of a friend of hers when she was about to be shot dead in Chechnya. Many others had similar stories.
But find out where the safety is on a weapon. Many countries in the Middle East and around the world keep weapons in the house.
Run first as fast as you can before you ever try tackling anyone. And if they catch you use shock as your first weapon, shout, scream, hit, bite tear at their most vulnerable part - genitals and eyes. If they have a weapon and you think they might use it, comply to their wishes if there is no escape.
Flirting can be useful for getting what you want and particularly for getting around bureaucracy. But tread carefully. It will get you in much more trouble than you think if you cross the line.
For the girls...wear a false wedding ring and refer to your husband often if you are travelling in a group of men.
Make sure they are all valid and how to get through them with as little hassle as possible.
Where nationality is likely to be a sensitivity and you have multiple passports pick one and stick to it. More than one can lead people to think you are a spy.
Every time you go anywhere relatively dangerous. It's not morbid. They should know what to do if you are hurt or run out of money, or are imprisoned as much as if you are dead. Make sure they are not left flapping around trying to find keys and passwords. Give them a copy of your itinerary, contact details along the way and your passport and tickets.
Rosie Garthwaite is the author of How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone published by Bloomsbury. Follow her on @Rosiepelican on Twitter.
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