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SALT LAKE CITY -- The U.S. State Department estimates more than 5,000 Americans in Japan are trying to get home. With northern Japan's infrastructure decimated, fleeing the destruction is very difficult.

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As people book last minute spring break and summer vacations, the host of The KSL Travel Show, Douglas Wren, said there are simple precautions every traveler should take, especially if they are leaving the country.

First, leave your travel information with someone back home. If trouble hits, it will be very difficult to compete with thousands of other worried travelers while trying to survive.

"Once you're in a disaster-stricken area, you're not going to be able to contact the airlines directly. You want an advocate here in the U.S. or another location where the disaster is not happening, to work on their end to getting you home," he said.

Wrens said you should register your travel with the State Department before leaving in order to get on emergency flights or boats quickly, and so the government can locate and help during a disaster.

If you use commercial travel, don't try to rebook because you might lose your chance to leave.

E-mail: ldaniels@ksl.com

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