Stay Safe during Spring Break!

I know everyone’s excited about Spring Break, but I just wanted to make sure everyone has fun but stays safe.  So here are a few Spring Break tips that everyone should follow!  (Bits taken from Campus Watch)
Prepare your residence for your Spring Break absence.
– Make sure you have your mail held at the post office and your newspaper delivery suspended.
– Check out an electric timer from the police department.  A timer can be used to turn your interior lights on and off.  This gives the impression your home is occupied.
–  Make sure your lawn, if you have one, is mowed and edged before you leave.  An unkempt lawn is an indication no one is at home.

Prepare your vehicle for Spring Break
–      This would be a good time to have a mechanic go over your vehicle.
–      Change the oil
–      Have the belts and engine hoses checked
–      Check all of your vehicle’s fluid levels checked and check the tire pressure
–      Put together an emergency kit.  This kit will contain some of the following items:
Water
Emergency Blanket
Flashlight / Extra Batteries
First Aid Kit
Car Cell Phone Charger
Traffic Safety Vest ($9.00 in the sporting goods section of many stores)
Granola bars

Preparing your personal items for the trip and packing
– When packing your clothes for the trip, consider the attire of local people in the area you are visiting.  Do not dress to “flashy” or “laid-back” as that may cause you to stand out as a tourist and an easy target.  Plan to dress conservatively.
– Before you leave, take time to plan out your trip.  Having an itinerary and sharing it with friends you are travelling with helps to identify possible problems and areas where security may be of more concern.  Include your travel plans in the itinerary (how you will be travelling – plane, train, auto, bus, bicycle etc. and the identifiers for that method of travel; i.e. flight number 7645 leaving Austin – Bergstrom at 10 a.m. arriving at JFK International at 3:00p.m.) Make sure you provide a copy of this itinerary with friends or family that are staying here.  That way, they know more about where you are, where you plan to be and when you will be back.
– If travelling abroad, make sure you look up the local police department telephone numbers and the nearest US Embassy telephone numbers. Program those numbers into your cell phone.  You never know when you will need them.
– Check the State Department webpage for any travel advisories. The web address is http://www.state.gov/travel/
– Check the contents of your wallet.  Only bring that which is necessary.  Limit the amount of cash you take with you.  Use traveler’s checks or a credit card instead.  Write down the 1-800 number to your credit card in the event your card is lost or stolen.  Keep that number in your hotel.
– If you take prescription medications, make sure you have enough of the prescription to last you through the trip.  KEEP YOUR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PRESCRIPTION BOTTLE.
– Keep your name and address on the inside of your luggage and write your contact information on the luggage tag.  Use a luggage tag that has a cover so your information can not be seen by someone walking by your luggage.
– Stay with your luggage from your house, to the airport and up to the bag check.  Watch the bag security check and ask Transportation Security Agency Officers to lock your bag after it is checked.

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