Kicking off this Friday, February 7, 2014, the Sochi Olympics in Russia come with warnings from US officials that the threat of a terrorist attack is likely. If attending events in Sochi, you may be asking how to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
With the latest threat to air travel into Russia, the US Department of Homeland Security reports a ban on carry-on liquids for flights destined to Russia because information that a bomb may be concealed in travel-size toothpaste tubes. The Federal Bureau of Investigations is sending a security team of "several dozen special agents" to Sochi, according to the Washington Post.
The US State Department has warned Olympians not to wear their team colors outside Olympic Village. All American travelers to Sochi should visit the State Department website for information about the Olympics in Sochi. Be sure to note the contact phone numbers for emergency assistance from the U.S. Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit. The site also includes information on crime, including possible terror attacks. View the latest Russian Federation Travel Alert for updates.
Basic advice is to be attentive while in public places, especially in crowds and while taking public transportation. Make sure you have a cellphone that works on the local networks. Share your itinerary with friends and family, remembering to update any changes to your travel schedule. Internet cafes offer reasonable communication options.
Perhaps most importantly, have a backup plan. Whether it's an alternate route to an event or an emergency exit from a building, this preparation can save precious seconds in the event of a catastrophe. Wikitravel includes information about housing, transportation, cellular networks, and even a variety of travel options from air, bus, or train.
See the sights and enjoy the cultural offerings of the region, but proceed with caution. And, enjoy the Olympic Games.