Charleston is a fairly safe place to visit.  Having said this, there are certain precautions that should be taken in order to ensure a smooth trip through the state of West Virginia.  Like always, common sense is the most important tool to be used in staying safe.

            Avoid walking alone at night (especially women).  This is a general recommendation for any unfamiliar area, but should be followed in Charleston as well.  If staying with a group is not an option and walking is unavoidable, try to remain in lighted, public areas.

            Although street crime, burglary, and petty theft are not major concerns in Charleston, they do happen.  However, most of these situations can be avoided using a few simple rules.  Avoid carrying around large amounts of money or looking extremely flashy.  Drawing un-needed attention is never a good idea.  Lock all car doors and roll up windows when leaving valuables behind in a car.  Don’t wander through areas that look “dangerous”.

            In the case of an emergency while visiting Charleston, dial 911 from any phone.  In non-emergency situations, contact the Charleston Police Department at: (304) 348-8147.

            Although there are no foreign embassies located in West Virginia, many countries have a location somewhere in the United States (most in Washington D.C.).   For a complete list, including contact and location information, check out this Foreign Embassies List.