ISU Safety Newsletter
News and Information from the ISU Public Safety Office
Tips for a Safe & Happy Holiday Season!
This holiday season, donít let the spirit of giving lull you into giving burglars, muggers or pickpockets a chance to do their dirty work. Criminals love the holidays as much as everyone else, because itís a perfect opportunity to commit a crime. Keep these tips in mind for a safe and happy holiday season.
If Youíre Traveling. . .
- Set an automatic timer for your lights.
- Ask your neighbor to watch your home, shovel the walks, pick up newspapers, collect mail, and park in the driveway from time to time.
- Be sure to hide any gifts that may be left in the house while youíre gone.
If Youíre Out for the Evening. . .
- Turn on lights and a radio or the TV so that it appears someone is home.
- Lock all doors and windows while youíre out, even if youíll only be gone for a few minutes.
- Do not place packages or gifts near windows or in high-visibility sites.
If Youíre Shopping. . .
- Donít let your guard down just because you are rushing.
- Stay alert and be aware of everything around you at all times.
- Park in well-lighted spaces and as close to the store as possible, lock your car doors, and hide packages in the trunk or under the seats.
- Donít carry large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card, if possible.
- Make sure you do not carry all your packages at the same time.
- Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
- If you take your children shopping, teach them to go to a police officer or trusted adult, if they get separated or lost.
If a Stranger Comes to the Door. . .
- Stay alert to suspicious looking couriers delivering packages to you or your neighbors.
- Many con artists take advantage of holiday generosity by going door-to-door. Ask for identification and get specifics to how and where the donations will be spent/used.
- If you feel uncomfortable, just say ďno thank youĒ and shut the door and lock it.
If Youíre At Home. . .
- Turn on outside lights to deter burglars.
- Report any suspicious behavior to the police or local community watch groups.
- Make sure your homeowners (or renters) insurance is up-to-date, and everything is inventoried properly.
For more information check out the National Crime Prevention Council website: www.ncpc.org.
Winter Preparedness Safety Tips
Timely preparation to avoid the impacts of severe winter weather, can avert heavy personal, business and government expenditures. Following are some measures from the FEMA website which can be effective in dealing with the challenges of severe winter weather:
Before Severe Weather Arrives...
- Store drinking water, first aid kit, canned/no-cook foods, non-electric can opener, radio, flashlight and extra batteries where you can get them easily, even in the dark.
- Keep cars and other vehicles fueled and in good repair, with a winter emergency kit in each.
- Know how the public is warned (siren, radio, TV, etc.) and the warning terms for each kind of disaster in your community (i.e., winter storm watch, winter storm warning, blizzard warning, etc.).
- Know how to contact other household members through a common out-of-state contact, in the event you become separated.
During A Winter Storm...
- Monitor your radio and TV stations for information and emergency instructions.
- Have an emergency survival kit ready to go if told to evacuate.
- If you go outside, for any reason, dress for the weather and expected conditions.
- Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your house cooler than normal. Temporarily shut off heat to less-used rooms.
- If using kerosene heaters, maintain ventilation to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Keep heaters at least 3-feet from flammable objects. Refuel kerosene heaters outside.
- Avoid travel, if possible. If you must travel, do so during daylight. Donít travel alone. Stay on main roads, and keep others informed of your scheduled.
- Have a mechanic check the following items on your car: battery; anti-freeze; wipers and windshield washer fluid; ignition system; thermostat; lights; flashing hazard lights; heater; brakes; defroster; oil level.
- Install good winter tires. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.
- Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal.
- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
- Plan long trips carefully. Listen to the radio or call the state highway patrol for the latest road conditions, and always travel during daylight.
- If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation.
- Dress warmly, and carry food and water.
- Winter Car Kit: Flashlights w/extra batteries; First aid kit w/a pocket knife; Necessary medications; Several blankets; Sleeping bags; Extra newspapers for insulation; Plastic bags (for sanitation); Matches; Extra mittens, socks and a wool cap; extra clothes; small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels; small shovel; small tools; booster cables; tire chains; cards, games or puzzles; canned fruit, nuts, snacks; non-electric can opener; bottled water.
If Trapped In Your Car During a Blizzard...
- Stay in the car. Do not leave the car to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards.
- Display a trouble sign. Hang a brightly colored cloth on the radio antenna, raise the hood, and have a ďCall PoliceĒ sign in your vehicle.
- Occasionally run engine to keep warm. Turn on the carís engine for about 10 minutes each hour. Run the heater when the car is running, and use the carís dome light.
- Watch for signs of frostbite or hypothermia and do minor exercises to keep up circulation. Huddle together for warmth and keep extra blankets or sleeping bags on hand.
- Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a downwind window slightly for ventilation.