Fall or Spring Break is usually a fun time. However, it is important to be careful and safe. Students and other members of the Catamount family need to take a few minutes and plan their break activities in a manner that incorporates safety into their activities.
- Ensure that you are in possession of or track your baggage and personal belongings at all times.
- If you are carrying a notebook computer or other electronic devices, do not send them through the screening checkpoint in airports until you are ready to walk through and claim them.
- Ensure that your family and friends have your travel itinerary and, if you are driving, your route with planned stops.
- Avoid carrying large sums of cash.
Before You Leave
- If you are attending a ticketed event, such as a concert, movie, dance, or game, ensure that your family and friends have the details of your plans such as the location and times of the event, and with whom you are traveling.
- Do not plan on attending a crowded event alone. Remember the old adage that there is “safety in numbers.”
- If you are inside an active crowd or close to a stage, it can become very hot and uncomfortable. Ensure that you drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids to stay hydrated.
- If you are inside an active crowd, try to stay towards the fringe. That way, if the crowd begins moving, you can escape or at least not be affected by the full force of a moving crowd.
- Keep track of where the exits are in case you have to evacuate in a hurry. Also, understand that the closest exit may not always be the best exit depending upon the dynamics of the crowd.
- Be aware of what you are standing on. Wet, muddy, and uneven surfaces can be slippery or dangerous in a moving crowd. Broken bottles, cans, and other trash can cause injuries.
- The momentum of a moving crowd can change unexpectedly. Also, being part of a crowd that is close to stairs, escalators, or slopes can be dangerous as you may unexpectedly trip and fall.
- Do not stand near or climb on temporary structures as they could collapse.
- If you can avoid it, do not be the first in line while waiting to enter an event. When the doors or gates open, there will be a surge from the crowd and that can prove dangerous.
- A surge from a crowd generates an incredible amount of energy. Some people have compared it to a locomotive or ship; once it starts, it is difficult to stop. If you find yourself in the middle of a moving crowd, do not stop or sit down. Rather, keep moving in the direction that the crowd is traveling and try to get to the edge.
- The last thing you want to do in a large, moving crowd is fall. If you do, get up quickly. If you cannot, have someone with you who can help pull you up. This is another reason why it is important to be with friends.
- If you fall in a moving crowd and cannot get up, keep moving in the direction of the crowd by crawling. If that is not possible, as a last resort, consider curling up in a ball and covering your head.
- The worst place to be in a moving crowd is at the front, particularly if the crowd is approaching an immovable object such as a wall, fence, or stage barricade. It may be tempting to be at the front, but it is also the most dangerous place to be. Crowd pressure can build up quickly and dangerously. The people in the center and back of the crowd often have no idea what is happening at the front of the crowd.
- Some of the worst crowd disasters happen at sporting events where overselling, poor management, frenzied fans, and festival seating create problems.
- If you attend a sporting event, watch from a seat rather than in the aisles or walkways where foot traffic flows.
- Keep away from fences, gates, boards, or other barricades from where there is no escape if fans behind you act like they want to rush the field.
- Be aware of what is occurring with the crowd around you. Also, be aware of the score and how much time is left in the game. It may be smart to leave early and avoid the reaction of the crowd.
- For information on this and other crime prevention programs, contact Services Sgt. Tammy Ammons-Hagberg, Victims Services and Crime Prevention Coordinator at 828.227.3059 or firstname.lastname@example.org .