Safety & Emergency Procedures
General Personal Safety Tips for LIM College Students in NYC
New York is statistically the 5th safest city in the nation, however, NY is a major city and not without criminal activity. Here are some general safety tips that you should follow while living and attending college in NYC.
- Students need to be aware of their surroundings and walk with a positive bearing. If you use an electronic device such as an iPhone, iPod or MP3 Player to listen to music, keep the volume to a reasonable level so that you can hear what is going on around you.
- Trust your instincts; if a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, get away as quickly as possible. Make casual eye contact with the person making you feel uncomfortable just to let him/her know you are aware of their presence. If you feel unsafe, dial 911 and go to a Safe Haven such as a big box retail store (CVS, Starbucks, McDonald’s) or restaurant and stay there until help arrives.
- Travel in groups of two or more (the buddy system).
- Let your roommate or a friend know where you are going and when you plan on returning.
- Be aware of pickpocket situations — crowded areas such as subways, concerts, etc.
- Men - Carry your wallets in your front pants pocket.
- Women - Use bags, pocketbooks etc. that zipper well; keep pocketbooks on your lap when in restaurants, etc. Avoid putting your purse on the back of your chair or under the table. Carry your bag close to your body, tucked in the bend of your elbow. Avoid bags that clasp or snap shut.
- Beware of scam artists offering big returns for little or no money (often referred to as good faith money). If it seems too good to be true - IT IS.
- The best time to use ATM’s is during daylight hours. Use bank affiliated ATM’s whenever possible instead of ATM’s in bodega’s or outside.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and avoid counting or displaying money on the street.
- Minimize the number of credit cards you carry.
- Every year make a copy of all of the contents of your purse/wallet. Photocopy the front and back of each card. Keep the copies in a safe place at your residence so if your purse or wallet is stolen you will know exactly what cards were in your purse or wallet and will be able to call the credit card companies to get immediate replacements and top authorization of purchases.
- Carry money for emergencies such as cab fare or quarters for phone calls.
- Always carry a separate stash of cash so that if you do lose your purse/wallet you will have enough money to get home.
- When traveling, plan your route ahead of time and know how to get to where you are going.
- Subway stops with lit green globes are open 24 hours a day, red globes mean entry is closed, red over white coloring is a metro-card only entrance.
- It is always a good idea to have a metro-card with a sufficient balance.
- On subways — where possible, stay in the token booth area until your train arrives.
- On the platform — look for a black and white striped board. That is where the car with the conductor will stop. You can also ride in the first car where the train operator is located.
- When entering a subway car look around. Does anyone make you feel uneasy? If so, move.
- Try sitting in the middle of the subway car away from the doorway.
- Keep chains and jewelry hidden. Turn gemstones in rings toward your palms.
- On the street — travel in well-lit and populated areas. Avoid "short cuts." If you must travel alone late at night, call someone at your destination to let him/her know you are coming and how long it will take you to arrive.
- If a car approaches you and asks for directions, speak with the occupants at a safe distance from the car.
- If you think that you are being followed, cross the street. If that person follows you again, re-cross the street. If you are still being followed, look for an open store etc. Begin to run and call out "FIRE!!", or call out to someone on the street as if you know them.