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Staying Safe!

October 4, 2011

This is obviously a topic on the minds of all of us these days. In light of the recently reported assault and all the burglaries, I’d like to throw out some very general personal advice culled from 19 years of experience.

Personal safety

You have heard much of this before. It’s time that you listen.

  • Don’t walk alone at night. Seriously – take the van home or have a friend walk with you. If you do have to walk, stay in well populated, well lit areas.
  • Stay alert. Talking on your phone, listening to your iPod, digging through your bag, etc., are all things that distract you from paying attention to your surroundings.
  • Stay sober. The drunker you are, the easier of a target you can be.

Some students have asked my opinion about personal defense “weapons” such as pepper spray. Here is my most important thought on pepper spray or similar products. Unless you repeatedly practice using them under high pressure scenarios, you are more likely to debilitate yourself and/or escalate the situation drastically. As simple as pepper spray seems, you must be able to locate it, get the “safety” off, point it in the correct direction, account for any wind direction and aim perfectly; all before your target can figure out what is happening. You may think you are naturally that good, but you probably are not.

Photo credit UNCW website

I do highly recommend that all of our female student population consider taking the R.A.D. course offered through the campus police department. Click here to get more information on signing up for a R.A.D. class.

Property Safety

The basics are simple. Lock, Lock, Lock. No, really. The majority of the burglaries that have happened at student residences this year have NOT involved forced entry. The burglars have gotten in through unlocked doors, windows or by removing unsecured window A/C units. We can’t make it that easy. Go through your house right now and lock every window. Even the windows you think there is no way someone is getting in. Lock doesn’t work? While you look into getting new working locks installed, wedge a dowel or strong stick of some sort between the top of the lower window pane and the top of the window frame.

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