State Dept. hosts Google hangout to advise Sochi travelers

(WJLA) - It’s what could possibly happen in Sochi that brought these four experts together, discussing plans like evacuations – if need be:

"We're sitting here having a contingency plans... the terrorists have already begun to win the battle because we're having this conversation!" exclaimed Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.

Sparked by the suicide attacks in surrounding towns and online threats, many said they would go themselves regardless, though it was with a cautious tone.

"There's a shadow there's a doubt, there's a cloud, but if you go as a visitor, if you go as media, I mean, would you go if ABC sent you? I suspect you would go," said Ridge.

Fiona Saunders, a GWU student, plans to attend:

"I'm just going to be aware, keep myself with groups, not wander off."

The fears are widespread enough that on Thursday, the State Department hosted a Google hangout to provide an online forum for questions to be answered. There were employees and even a former gold medalist, trying to prepare Americans for any problems.

In response to the question, "What should an American do if they get into trouble?" Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department advised:

"First of all, if they're in a life threatening situation and they need to seek out police assistance or medical assistance at the nearest location, there will be English-speaking help all over Sochi."