For those of you that have traveled to Washington, D.C. before, whether on business or pleasure, many things have changed since Sept. 11th. Please read through these hints so you are prepared and are able to more completely enjoy your visit to our nation's capital. Many people have expressed to Rep. Royce their concern over their safety in D.C. since the attacks. It's true, things have changed in D.C., as in other parts of the country; however, many things are still the same. D.C. officials and authorities are more diligent than ever in looking out for the safety and well being of its residents and you, its visitors.

Be aware of threat levels.

Homeland Security Advisory System
From the Department of Homeland Security.

Pack your day bags lightly.

Many buildings and tours do not permit you to bring backpacks or large bags. Leave the pocketknives, etc. at home because many locations do not permit you to bring them inside. Typically, the list is almost always the same: what is not allowed on an airplane is not allowed in many locations in DC.

Organize your bag.

Almost every location, especially where there are tourists and government officials, requires you to proceed through a security screening process similar to that of an airport. Many locations require you to open your bags to be searched by security personnel. If you have a lot of small items (ie: medications, make-up, etc) that you must carry with you, organize them so they can be removed and replaced easily and quickly.

Protect your film.

Many people are concerned that the repeated process of placing your film through the x-ray machine will damage your film. When you are waiting in line to be screened, be sure to ask the about film damage and where you should put your film to protect it. Additionally, previous visitors have mentioned that you can buy special bags at a film store to place your rolls of film in that will protect your film from constant x-rays.

Be patient.

Being patient is the best advice Rep. Royce can give to his constituents. It is important to understand that the environment has changed and things come up at the last minute (ie: road closures due to a motorcade, entrances being closed to visitors, long lines to get through a security screening facility, etc). Just remember: you are not alone in the situation, so it's best to just go with the flow.

Arrive early.

If you have scheduled tours, either on your own or through Rep. Royce, it is always best to plan to be 30 minutes early. That will give you a cushion of time for several things, such as long lines for screening process, crowded metro, traffic, and so on. By arriving early you will be able to relax, and more thoroughly enjoy your tour.

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