If you're visiting another country and disaster strikes, U.S. Consulates are there to help you. They can also help answer questions like: How should you contact your relatives if you end up in the hospital abroad? How can you keep your passport safe? What should you do if it gets stolen?
"Protect your passport," says Jeff Osweiler, the chief of American Citizen Services at the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal. "Treat it like you would your wallet or your phone. Keep it on your person. Make it something that's with you at all times, and if you can't do that, at least keep it in a safe. Don't keep it with things that thieves really want, like laptops, bags, other valuables. They really don't want your passport. There's really not a lot of utility or value for most thieves in the passport. What they want is the thing that it's with. And definitely don't leave it in a car. Most of the cases we see here in Montreal involve some sort of a car break-in where a bag is taken and the passport is inside."
During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with two consular officers who are originally from Iowa: Jeff Osweiler and Jeffrey Gringer, the consular section chief at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm.