Safety Tips



Protect Your Community:  Crime can occur anywhere, anytime—no one is immune.

  • Report suspicious behavior or threatening situations immediately.  Describe the person(s) or situations as completely as possible to the 911 dispatcher.
  • Seek assistance from ISU Police or Department of Residence staff if you are harassed, threatened or stalked.  Save all communications received including texts, emails, voicemail or written notes.
  • Avoid propping open exterior and fire doors or allowing strangers to enter.
  • Report possible hazards such as nonworking lights, broken windows or damaged doors.
  • Read and familiarize yourself with the ISU Student Conduct Code and the ISU Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Prepare for unexpected or crisis situations:  Knowledge and quick response is vital.

  • Keep emergency numbers in your phone and on your person.
    • Emergencies only:  911
    • ISU Police:  515-294-4428
    • Local police department and sheriff’s department
    • Iowa State Patrol
  • Keep “ICE” (in case of emergency) numbers in your phone and on your person.  If you are injured or seriously ill, your personal contact information will be vital.
  • 911 information:
    • 911 dialed from an on-campus land line will connect you with ISU Police.
    • 911 dialed from a cell phone on campus will be routed to Ames Police, Story County Sheriff or the Iowa State Patrol.  The dispatcher will likely transfer the call to ISU Police.
    • Stay on the phone with the 911 dispatcher; give your location and information as clearly and calmly as possible to assist police and emergency personnel.  Follow the dispatcher’s directions.
  • Crisis situations may include a natural disaster or an attack on campus.
    • Focus on getting to safety.  Think, don’t panic. 
    • Follow instructions and procedures during an emergency.
    • Know the location of exits in your residence as well as campus buildings and facilities.
    • Report suspicious people, behavior or activity immediately.
    • Use common sense:  “threat” jokes or inflammatory statements could cause panic or retaliatory actions.  You may be detained by police.
    • Respect emergency equipment such as smoke detectors, fire alarms and fire extinguishers.  Report damaged equipment immediately.

Protect Your Home:  Minimize risk to your home.

  • Keep doors to your residence locked whether or not you are home.

  • Do not admit strangers to your home.

  • Close blinds/curtains at night.

  • Keep valuable items out of sight and securely stored.  Make a list of items’ brand names, model and serial numbers for insurance purposes.  If you are a victim of theft, accurate information may allow recovered items to be traced and returned

Protect Yourself:  No victim is to blame for what happens to them. Awareness of your surroundings can contribute to personal safety.

  • Trust your instincts—if you feel threatened, avoid the situation or call 911.
  • Wear only one earpiece when using a personal listening device.
  • Wear only one backpack shoulder strap when walking at night; avoid wearing a strap over your neck and shoulder.  This prevents an attacker from easily controlling you.
  • Walk with a friend or call SafeRide (515-294-4444) after 6 p.m.  If you think you are being followed, walk toward a well-lit area or people in the vicinity and call for assistance.
  • Use common sense.
  • Never leave your backpack or other items unattended.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Register and lock your bicycle.  Ride in accordance with traffic and bicycle laws.
  • Practice vehicle safety.
    • Always lock your car and keep doors locked when you are in the vehicle.
    • Have your keys in hand and check the vehicle’s back seat before unlocking and entering.
    • After dark have someone accompany you to your vehicle; park close to your destination if possible.
  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs inhibits your ability to act responsibly or react quickly:
    • Limit your alcohol intake.
    • Avoid combining alcohol with prescription medicines and club drugs; the combination can be dangerous.
    • Never leave your drink unattended or accept a pre-poured drink from a stranger.
    • Buzzed or drunk driving is deadly and illegal; leave your vehicle and find other transportation.  Your life and others’ lives depend upon your decision.
    • Don’t hesitate to call ISU Police if you or your friend are in need of assistance and have been drinking.  Our main concern is your safety!
  • Practice online safety.
    • Never reveal your social security number.
    • Avoid posting personal information or location.
    • Create passwords that cannot be easily guessed.  Change your passwords regularly.
    • Carefully consider what you post online; privacy settings are not “private”.  Online postings are available, even after being deleted.