The International Student and Scholar Services office recently shared the an excellent list of tips to help you stay safe both on the streets and at home. We are republishing the list here for those who may have missed it:
Safety Tips For the Street
Don’t be an easy target!
1) Try never to walk alone, even during the day. There is safety in numbers so always walk with a friend or, better yet, a group of friends.
2) Avoid walking to your off-campus apartment near UB’s South Campus after dark. If you live within a 1.5- mile radius of UB’s South Campus, you should use theUB Safety Shuttle instead. It runs seven nights per week from 8:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m. (except during certain holidays and school breaks). Shuttle pick-up stops are at the Health Science Library, Parker Hall, Goodyear Loop and Main Circle. Shuttle pick-up times are approximately every thirty minutes. Note: If you need a pick-up at another location, you must make a reservation. Reservations can be made by calling 829-2584 on Mondays – Fridays, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m..
3) Avoid walking alone to your car or residence hall after dark. Use the UB Safety Walk Service instead. If you go to a Walk Station or call to request a Safety Walk, a pair of walkers will escort you anywhere on campus. Walk Stations are located in the Silverman Undergraduate Library, Capen Hall, North Campus on Sundays – Thursdays, 8:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. or the Health Sciences Library, South Campus on Sundays – Thursdays, 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. To call for a Safety Walk, call (716) 208-5581 (North Campus) or (716) 491-4198 (South Campus) from anywhere on campus.
4) Be alert to your surroundings. Don’t wear headphones or earbuds. Pay attention to other people on the street in such a way that they know you are watching them.
5) Walk close to the street curb. Avoid bushes, doorways and parked cars, where attackers can hide. When you take a corner, don’t cut the corner; stay close to the street.
6) Be vigilant. Cross the street if a person who is approaching you makes you nervous. Look in store windows to see who is behind you and what they are doing. When you pass by someone, look back to make sure they aren’t following you.
7) Walk confidently and assertively. Keep your distance and keep moving. Do your best not to appear vulnerable or submissive.
8) Keep your hands out of your pockets so you can use them, if you need them.
9) Don’t avert your eyes when you encounter people who make you nervous. Look directly at them, paying attention to their eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc. In this way, you won’t be an easy victim because they will know that you can describe them to the police and recognize them in a police line-up.
10) Keep “give up” items (e.g. 20 one-dollar bills) in your pocket and your valuables (e.g. large amounts of money, credit cards, passport) well hidden (e.g. in your shoes, in a money belt under your clothing, etc.).
11) Keep your car key, house key and cell phone where you can reach for them. Don’t keep them in your backpack. If you do, you will lose time reaching for them when you need them, lose everything if your backpack is stolen and get dragged down if someone grabs your backpack.
12) Keep your keys and cell phone separate from your “give up” items. Consider carrying a fake wallet to give to muggers.
13) If someone tries to mug or attack you, yell “Call 911” or “Call the police”.
14) If you are mugged (or someone tries to mug you), call 911 immediately. Don’t wait until you get home. If you don’t have a way to call, pound on a neighbor’s door and ask them to make the call. This will help the police arrest the mugger, thus protecting you and your friends by getting the mugger off the streets.
15) If someone stops you to ask you for help, call 911 for them. Don’t try to help them. Their emergency may not be real.
16) If someone tries to grab you, don’t stop moving. Squirm and flail your arms as much as you can to get away. Spit in their face, scratch them, etc.
17) Never give strangers a ride in your car or accept a ride from strangers.
18) Don’t give money to beggars. They might be drug addicts or criminals and might mug you once you take out your wallet to give money to them.
Safety Tips for the Home
Ensure that you and your belongings are safe in UB residence halls
1) Lock the door to your room when you leave your room (even for a short time) or go to bed.
2) Do not prop open locked residence hall doors. If you see a propped door, close it.
3) Be observant of any strangers loitering or checking doors in your building. Note their description and call University Police (645-2222) immediately.
Ensure that your off-campus home is not an easy target
1) Always your keep exterior doors and windows locked —even in the summer.
2) Leave some lights on in your home when you go out.
3) If strangers telephone or come to your door, do not admit that you are alone.
4) Never let strangers into your home.
5) Close your blinds at night so people can’t see you or your possessions (e.g. TV, computer, etc.)
6) Understand that thieves often look for potential targets by observing houses and residents. If you live near UB’s South Campus, change your patterns (e.g. schedule, walking route) so it will be harder for thieves to identify a good time to rob your house.
7) Keep a list of serial numbers of your electronics in your apartment. In this way, if your house is broken into, the police can identify your stolen property and arrest the thief.