Safety Tips and Resources


In an EMERGENCY it is important for you to have access to emergency contact information (phone numbers and links). It is also important to list emergency personal contacts in your Howdy portal to be able to contact in the event of an emergency. For any immediate emergencies, please dial 911 for police, fire or medical emergencies. For any non-emergencies, please see the following list of numbers to call. Non emergency contact numbers

Local Emgerncy Contacts
For any emergencies, please refer to the following links for local news and follow the TAMU, local news, and government guidance whereever you are located. Most of the following sources also have Facebook that you can find and follow both information and recommended instructions. Below are some examples of sites to follow.
Safety Tips for Emergency Contacts
The following information includes steps to identify good emergency contacts and update your emergency contacts into the Howdy Portal. It also includes other imporatnt safety resources. 

Sergeant H. Allan Baron Crime Prevention Specialist
Texas A&M University Police Department
(979) 862-8125
abaron@tamu.edu
  • At least 1 U.S. phone number
  • At least 1 person who speaks English
  • At least 1 person who can translate between English and your native language
  • Make sure the individual(s) you name are those whom you want to be contacted in the event that you experience any kind of serious emergency in which you cannot call them yourself
  • Make sure one of the individuals you name could make decisions or provide a name on your behalf, especially during medical emergencies
  • Program at least one ICE (In Case of Emergency) phone number into your cell phone and save it as “ICE”
We strongly recommend all international students have at least two emergency contacts listed on their university record and that they review/update them every year.  To update your emergency contact:
  1. Log in to Howdy portal
  2. Click on “My Record” tab
  3. Locate the box entitled “My Information
  4. Click on “View/Update Contact Information
  5. Click on “View/Update Emergency Contacts
    1. Please list at least one family member as your emergency contact (can be outside the U.S.)
    2. Update your relationship with the contact under ‘Relationship

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a U.S. federal government agency aimed at protecting consumers and competition by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices.

One of their strategic goals is to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. The FTC’s Consumer Information website (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/) contains a significant amount of helpful information related to both preventing and responding to incidents like financial scams, immigration scams, identify theft, and many other consumer complaints. ISS encourages all international students to review the information at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/ so they are better informed and prepared to identify issues. If you believe you have been subject to any form of scam or identify theft, ISS strongly recommends you review the information at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/ in detail and take the action(s) recommended by the FTC. Some of the most relevant FTC webpages that may be of interest to international students include the following:

 

Safety Tips by UPD
The following are some general safety tips from the University Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit. If you would like to have a UPD officer visit a student organization meeting, they are available to do that. Both Bryan and College Station Police Departments also have Crime Prevention Units and are available to discuss neighborhood safety with groups in neighborhoods or talk to residents about how to make your home or neighborhoods more safe. If you and a group of your neighbors would like to have more information about safety, you can contact the police directly, or contact ISS and we can help you do this. 

  • STAY ALERT ! Be aware of your surroundings. Look to see who's in front and behind you. If you're concerned about crime, ask a friend to accompany you.
  • COMMUNICATE THE MESSAGE THAT YOU'RE CALM, CONFIDENT, AND KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING ! Stand tall, walk with purpose, and make quick eye contact with people around you.
  • TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS ! If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, simply leave.
  • Keep your doors locked at all times (day or night).
  • Install a door viewer so you can see who's there without opening the door.
  • Don't leave notes on your door or newspapers on your porch - they advertise that you're not home.
  • Close the drapes or blinds at night.
  • Don't automatically open the door - have the person identify himself.
  • Ask for identification from any repairman. If you are not expecting anyone, or you're suspicious for any reason, call his firm to verify before letting him in.
  • If a stranger asks for help, don't open the door - make the call for him.
  • If asked whether your husband is home, reply, "Yes, but he's asleep, etc., etc."
  • If you return home and you suspect forced entry, DON'T GO IN! - call the police to help you check the house.
  • Do not give your name, phone number, address, or any other personal information to a telephone solicitor.
  • Use your initials rather than your first name in the phone book and mailbox.
  • Have your locks re keyed or changed when you move into a new residence so previous tenants won't have access to your home.
  • Hang up immediately and quietly.
  • For repeated calls, contact the police and the phone company. Your phone can be monitored or the call traced. Keep a log of the date, time, and what was said by the caller.
  • If the calls continue, consider changing your phone number.
  • Walk only on busy, well-lighted streets, even if it makes the trip a little longer.
  • Avoid short cuts such as parking lots, alleys, or parks.
  • Don't accept rides with strangers or distant acquaintances.
  • If someone in a vehicle asks for directions, keep back far enough where you can't be grabbed.
  • If you feel you are being followed, cross the street or go the other way. Walk toward lights and people.
  • If you are being followed by a vehicle, turn and run in the opposite direction. The driver will have to turn around before he can continue following you.
  • When returning home, have your key out and ready to unlock the door.
  • Keep a cell phone handy in case your vehicle breaks down. Know who to call.
  • Keep vehicle doors locked at all times.
  • Lower windows only slightly, so no one can reach inside.
  • Maintain a relatively full tank of gas.
  • Choose a well-lighted, well-traveled route even if it's a little out of the way.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Don't stop to help strangers - get to a phone and call help for them.
  • If someone follows you, don't go home. Drive to an open business and call the police - if possible, record the license plate number of the other vehicle.
  • If you are safely off the roadway, raise the hood. Depending on the situation, it may be a good idea to get back into the vehicle and lock the doors. If you are standing outside your vehicle, you may be in danger from passing vehicles not seeing you.
  • If someone stops to help, be cautious! You may ask them to call for help.
  • It would be very helpful to keep an emergency number of someone you can call if your vehicle breaks down. (wrecker service, mechanic, roadside assistance, etc.)
  • Park in a well-lighted area.
  • If parking during the day and returning at night, check for street and building lights.
  • Always lock the vehicle doors.
  • When parking in a pay lot, leave only the ignition key in the car. Do not give anyone a chance to duplicate your house keys.
  • Put valuables in the trunk.
  • Be cautious when parking next to a van.
  • Have your key in your hand, ready to unlock your vehicle.
  • Look around the area to see if someone is loitering around your car.
  • Check the front and back seat areas of the car to see if someone is hiding.
  • If possible, walk with someone to your vehicle.
  • Be cautious of any van parked next to your car.
Remain as calm as possible. This will not be easy if you're attacked, but it's your first step towards an escape. Remember, your own initiative and imagination is your best defense.

Two types of resistance can be used against an attacker: (1) Passive (2) Active.

PASSIVE RESISTANCE involves using your imagination to delay the attack while continually looking for a chance to escape or attempting to talk the attacker out of assaulting you.

You Can:
  • Try to remain calm and show as little fear as possible.
  • Talk to the attacker if time permits. In some cases this will help calm both him and you down. Refrain from talking to the attacker if it aggravates him.
  • Treat the attacker as a person and try to gain his confidence. This may cause him to let his guard down and allow you to escape.
  • Continually look for an opportunity to escape.
  • Choose tactics that will leave you able to try other things if a particular approach doesn't work.
  • If your first attempt to dissuade the attacker fails, try something else - different approaches work on different people.


ACTIVE RESISTANCE involves using physical force to repel the attacker.
 
You Can:
  • Scream - if someone is near enough to hear you and provide help.
  • If you're grabbed from behind, throw your head back hard against the attacker's face or throat.
  • Crush down on top of his instep of this foot with your heel.
  • Press your thumbs very hard into his eyes.
  • Run towards people and lighted areas.

REMEMBER: No method is foolproof. No single method is the best one in every situation. All situations are different. Every attacker is different. Passive resistance may not change the attacker's mind or offer a chance to escape. Active resistance may excite or cause him to use more force that he would have otherwise used.

Your Best Weapon is Your Own Brain

Use Your Common Sense, Imagination, and Good Judgment!

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule a crime prevention program, please contact:
Sergeant H. Allan Baron
Crime Prevention Specialist
Texas A&M University Police Department
(979) 862-8125
abaron@tamu.edu
There are a significant number of bats on the Texas A&M College station campus. Bats are considered high risk for rabies and should never be touched. In addition, a few species found in Texas are considered endangered or threatened and thus, should not be disturbed.

If you come in contact with a bat, find one dead or alive in a campus building, or see a live bat anywhere that cannot fly, call the Facilities Services Communications Center immediately at (979) 845-4311.

Also, remember to close all windows and doors, especially in the evening, to help keep bats and other animals from entering buildings.