Security expert: exercise caution, be aware during shopping and - WNEM TV 5

Security expert: exercise caution, be aware during shopping and travel season

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Nearly 47 million Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving.

The U.S. State Department said terrorist groups like ISIS and the al-Qaida are actively planning attacks, and the busy holiday season could be the perfect time to strike.

Some are flying home for the holiday, while others will hit the road for some big football games or even holiday shopping.

Just days before travel really picks up, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert in wake of recent terror threats.

Tom Mynsberg is with Critical Incident Management.

"They're watching for things extra, they're putting extra police men and officials on duty and just make sure that if we have a chance to intercept things. We're going to intercept them," Mynsberg said.

He helps train emergency responders, schools, and other groups on how to respond during a crisis or threat.

“We have a tendency to want to be complacent and deny that things are going to happen to us and we can't live like that," Mynsberg said.

Whether you're traveling at the airport or heading out for Black Friday shopping, Mynsberg has some safety tips for all of us.

“Our responsibility first of all is our personal safety, so be aware of that,” Mynsberg said. “If you're sitting in a large crowd. Look at the exits around you, if bad things happen, don't sit there, get your family out. Exit quickly.”

Mynsberg's biggest piece of advice? Be aware of your surroundings.

“We walk out and bury our heads in our phones,” Mynsberg said. “Be aware of your situation. When you're walking out make sure you leave a safety cushion around you and others. Be aware of that.”

The current worldwide travel alert is the first since December 2014.

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