10th November 2008

However wonderful it is to live in the Mediterranean region, with all that sunshine and open space, there are nevertheless worries. Especially for a pessimist like me! What if a global catastrophe occurs? What if I have a family disaster/emergency on my hands and there is no-one nearby to whom I can turn? Another thought: what if a family emergency occurs elsewhere and no-one knows where to contact me?
For all these reasons, I was pleased to see that the British Embassy have launched their new LOCATE service. British citizens, whether living permanently abroad or preparing for a trip, can now tell them their foreign address or destination so that the embassy and crisis staff can provide better assistance in an emergency such as a tsunami or terrorist attack. Then, if a major catastrophe does occur they'll have an instant record of your details so they can contact you to make sure you’re OK and provide advice. Also, it's an invaluable tool if family and friends need to get in touch with you as they can help them to find you. All British Nationals travelling and living overseas are encouraged to register, even for short trips. How do I register with LOCATE? Complete the short online registration form. Your details will be stored on a secure database which can only be accessed by staff at British Embassies or their Consular Crisis Group. You can delete the details of a trip once it has ended or if your plans change. You can even subscribe for country travel advice email alerts.
Anything to reassure worriers like me, living far away from their country of birth, is a good idea as far as I'm concerned. I'm not worried about the 'big brother' afficionados. For peace-loving, law-abiding citizens like me, I'm just happy to find something to help in a crisis situation and reduce delay and worry in times of stress for family and friends back home.

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