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Holiday Safety Tips

While Shopping:

  • Stay alert and be aware of everything around you. Take a minute to observe who may be watching you.
  • Be cautious of strangers soliciting for charitable donations. Ask for identification, how the donated funds will be used, etc.
  • Park in a highly visible well-lit space. It may be daylight when you arrive at the mall, but by 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. it will be dark outside.
  • Lock your vehicle both when driving and parked.
  • Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Have your car keys in your hand and be ready to open the car door immediately; once in the vehicle, immediately lock your doors.
  • Place all shopping bags, packages and gifts out of sight (in the trunk or under seats).
  • Always make a note of where you have parked your car; you do not want to spend unnecessary time walking around the parking lot.
  • Look inside and under your car before entering to make sure there is no one lying waiting you.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash – use debit card, credit card or checks.
  • Do not overburden yourself with packages; avoiding that will help deter pickpockets or purse snatchers.
  • Do not park next to a van or truck where people can hide.

While Driving:

  • Be alert at intersections and stoplights. They can be favorite spots for persons with a criminal intent.
  • Keep your car in gear. If you are threatened, blow the horn, then drive away. Leave enough space between you and the car in front of you to pull around if necessary.
  • Keep windows rolled up and doors locked at all times.
  • Keep valuables (purses, packages, wallets, etc.) out of sight.
  • If followed – do not drive home. Go to a police station, fire house, gas station or other public place.
  • If car breaks down, stay with the car and accept NO rides from strangers. If someone stops to help, ask them to call the police.
  • Keep your vehicle well maintained and full of gas.
  • When partaking of “holiday cheer,” good judgment is always in order. Select a designated driver for the evening; they should not be drinking alcohol. Also remember, seatbelts do save lives.

While Traveling:

  • Plan your day; know where you are going and what you are doing.
  • Let a friend or family member know your plans.
  • Avoid distractions because distractions attract criminals.
  • Carry a cellular phone and have emergency phone numbers available.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings; know where emergency exits and assistance are located.
  • Avoid short cuts be sure to use well-lit and well-traveled roads.
  • Use debit or credit cards if possible, carry enough money to pay for your errands. If carrying a large amount of money, separate your money into the amounts needed and place them in different pockets.
  • Secure your purse of wallet after use.
  • Have your vehicle checked and maintained according to vehicle specifications.
  • Keep your passport and travel documents in a safe location.
  • If you are on campus and see suspicious persons or packages please report it to Public Safety 516-299-2222.

Vehicle Safety

  • Lock and secure your vehicle, place packages and other valuables out of sight so that you do not make your vehicle or yourself a target.
  • When returning to your vehicle, try to leave with a group of people.
  • Check the outside and inside of the vehicle prior to entering.
  • Have your keys available to open the door, get in and then lock the doors.
  • Maintain a full tank of gas, keep doors locked and windows closed.
    If someone tries to get you to stop your vehicle and / or divert your attention, try to stop in a well-lit and populated area then contact help.
  • Do not leave your vehicle running and unattended.
  • In the winter keep a blanket, small shovel, small bag of sand (or kitty litter), and snow scrapers in your car.
  • For an on-campus emergency, dial 516-299-2222; in case of an off-campus emergency dial 911.