The Division of Student Affairs has compiled the following resources for your safety and convenience.
Winterizing Your Vehicle (pdf)
Winter Break Safety
As finals week comes to a close, most students plan to leave campus during all or part of the winter break. End of the semester procedures for students living on campus have been distributed. Suggestions for students living off campus as well as tips related to winter driving and general safety recommendations are offered below. The Division of Student Affairs wishes a happy and safe break to all. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
Safety tips for off campus students during the winter break:
- Secure or remove all valuables (e.g., jewelry, computers, stereos, televisions, etc.). All valuables should already be engraved with your Social Security or other identifying number.
- Close and lock all windows; Close all shades, drapes and blinds. Lock and bolt entrance doors to rooms or apartments.
- Use timers on lights and on a radio or television to give your residence the appearance of being occupied.
- Your answering device message should never indicate that you are not home. Always use plural nouns even if you live alone (e.g., "We're not available to take your call right now"). Don't use your name(s).
- Remember to contact the Post Office to have mail service held until your return.
- Although turning down your thermostat makes sense from a budgetary perspective, it is important to keep it at a level that prevents water pipes from freezing.
- Make sure your exterior lighting works and turn all lights on. Preferably, exterior lights should be on a timer or photoelectric cell. If not, contact your landlord with regards to installing these security devices before you leave for Break.
- Live Christmas trees should be disposed of before leaving town and all holiday lighting unplugged. Go through your residence and attend to fire safety issues: dispose of trash, unplug appliances, be certain that candles or simmering pots are not burning, etc.
Winter driving tips
Pack a winter survival kit. The items that you need are most likely already around your house or residence hall room. Pack a blanket, warm clothes such as sweats or long johns, gloves, boots and an emergency flashlight. Some people keep a flashlight in their car at all times.
Always try to keep at least a half tank of fuel in your car. Although this is a great tip no matter the time of the year, it is critical in the winter. This will minimize your chance of running out of fuel. Also in the winter, any water in your fuel and fuel line has the potential to freeze. With less fuel and more water, the chance of this occurring is greater. Also, as everyone knows, oil and water don't mix. The water could be separated from the fuel, and the chance of fuel line freeze-ups even greater.
Keep another driving kit in the trunk. In this kit, your should have an emergency snow shovel, an extra pair of gloves, a snow brush/ice scraper, a spare set of windshield wiper blades, and safety flares or reflective triangles. Flares are easier to see in all conditions, especially in snowy or foggy conditions. However, there is some danger with flares. Check the flares at least once a month to be sure that there is no leakage from them. In addition, the flares are hot enough to burn metal and you could be severely burnt by the flares. Heed all safety warnings provided with the flares.
Before leaving to go anywhere, clear all ice and snow off of all glass, front, back and sides, off of the mirrors, the headlights and taillights and off of your license plates. Check your windshield wipers to see if they move freely and make full contact with the windshield.
Remember all the things that you learned in driver's ed. Drive in someone else's tire tracks for better traction, but if you see ice, move out of those tracks. If you start to skid, remember, get your foot off of the gas and don't use the brake. Don't make any sudden moves.
Remember that bridges and overpasses freeze first. Intersections of roads are a common problem because all of the traffic in that area will pack down the snow and turn it to ice.
If you have anti-lock brakes, don't pump the brakes. That'll make your situation worse because you don't have your foot on the brake all of the time.
- Don’t leave home without your fully charged cell phone.
- Make sure you let friends and family know when you plan to leave on a trip, your general route and expected time of arrival.
Winter Driving Tips (pdf)
General holiday safety tips when in the community
This is a time of year when many of us are making purchases for gift-giving. Consider these safety tips:
- When out shopping, avoid carrying large amounts of money with you.
- Do not leave your packages in plain view in your vehicle; lock them in your trunk.
- When shopping, never leave a package unattended.
- Park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Remember that theft is a crime of opportunity. Please reduce your chances of being a victim by using these safety tips.