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Home » USO Updates » Safety Tips

Safety Tips


“Your personal safety is a personal choice and responsibility”


1.    Follow your INTUITION – trust your feelings – If you feel that a situation is not right, move out of the place or situation.

2.     OPPORTUNITY and ANONYMITY can be countered with good COMMON SENSE and AWARENESS.

3.     Be AWARE of your surroundings at all times, including people. Trust your instincts at all times

4.     Always look confident and calm. Make sure that you appear as if you know where you are going.

5.     There is SAFETY IN NUMBERS, go out in groups of trusted friends,

6.     BUDDY SYSTEM is one good option.

7.     ASK PERMISSION from your parents or guardians and give accurate details on where you are going and when you will be back.

8.     Carry a personal safety device – personal protection in everyday items like keys, hairsprays, aerosol, pepper sprays, whistle, flashlights, etc.

9.    Avoid posting photo and other personal information on public domain or social networking sites or publish/distribute in campus.

10.  Study and inspect the campus and neighborhood with respect to routes you are going to take between your residence and school.

11.  Share your class schedule with your parents and a network of close friends. Give cellphone or landline numbers to parents, advisors and friends.

12.  Do not hesitate to report illegal activities and suspicious loitering.

13.  Be more aware and in control of yourselves during off campus functions and activities.

14.  If you are staying in a dorm or boarding house, study the minimum standards of security, responsibility, leases and accreditation.  Parents or guardians may consult neighborhood watch (Barangay officials) regarding local crime rates in the area. Know your neighbors.

15.  Know basic self defense techniques and evasive tactics and strategies.


1.     Avoid using cellphones or headphones while walking or driving

2.     Do not display cash openly especially when leaving ATM machines

3.     Do not leave identification cards, wallets, jewelry, cameras and other items in open view.

4.     Do not wear jewelry in a conspicuous manner.

5.     Keep money or your wallet close to your body at all times. Do not keep large sums of money on your person.

6.     Always carry your handbag in such a way as to prevent somebody from snatching it.

7.     Let go if your bag is snatched

8.     If you see people milling around you, be aware as this may be evidence of an impending robbery.

9.     If you are robbed, remain calm and do not resist. If the criminal wants your valuables, give it to him particularly if he has a weapon.

10.  Always keep within security lights outside a building or on the streets.

11.  If you have a firearm, ensure that it is in a safe place. Do not leave your firearm unattended.

12.  Wear clothing that is non-restrictive to be able to move quickly and suddenly.


1.     Ask permission from your parents or guardian and give accurate details on where you are going and when you will be back.

2.     Do not walk or travel by yourself at night

3.     If you need to travel anywhere, inform someone of your destination.

4.     If you are not sure of the safety of a particular area, take time to conduct a survey and contact barangay officials.

5.     Sit near other people or near aisles or doors. Learn the location of emergency exits and alarms

6.     Stay awake and alert when using public transport

7.     Keep valuables out of sight, if carrying a handbag, keep it in front of you. Keep wallets in front pockets.

8.     Dress casually, dress down where appropriate. Be aware of local customs

9.     Don’t wear excess jewelry, reduce wallet or purse content.

10.  Walk in well-lit areas, avoid the use of shortcuts

11.  If someone in a vehicle stops and ask for directions, answer from a distance. Do not approach the vehicle.

12.  While waiting for public transportation, keep your back against a wall or post, always be aware of your surroundings and always stay near the curb.

13.  If you feel that you are being followed, go immediately to an area with lights and people. If needed, turn around and walk in the opposite direction, your follower will also have to reverse direction.


1.     Lock your vehicle, make sure windows are closed.

2.     Do not leave valuable items in plain view such as purses, laptops

3.      Avoid stopping in dark deserted areas, park in well-lit areas.

4.     If a stranger wants to talk to you through your window, only open your window slightly. Do not give strangers a lift.

5.     If something seems suspicious, drive away immediately

6.     Vary your routes on a periodic basis. Be aware of the routes that you travel.

7.     Carjackers might create a minor accident to hijack you.

8.     Do not resist hijackers, Your life is more valuable.

9.     Make sure that your vehicle is in good condition

10.  Make sure that you have enough fuel to reach your destination

11.  Have your keys ready before approaching your vehicle

12.  Always look around at stop streets

13.  If you feel that you are being followed, drive to the nearest police

14.  Do not leave firearms in the glove compartment


1.     Most people who duck and cover when buildings collapse or get under objects like tables, chairs or cars have a smaller chance of survival.

2.     If an earthquake occurs and you cannot easily escape by getting out the window or door, lie down and curl up in a fetal position.  Curling up in a fetal position during an earthquake is a natural safety and survival instinct.  Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leaves a void next to it.

3.     Do not stay under a doorway or doorjamb, it usually falls forward, backward or sideways.

4.     Never go to the stairs during an earthquake. Stairs have a different “moment of frequency”( they swing separately from the main part of the building).  The stairs and the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure takes place.  Stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged.  Even if the stairs do not collapse during an earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people.  Safety check must be done before using the stairs.

5.     Get near the outer walls of buildings or outside of them if possible.  It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior.  The farther inside you are from the outside the perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

6.     When inside a vehicle, get out of the vehicle and sit or lie next to it.

7.     Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them.  This is the space called the “Triangle of Life”.  The larger and stronger the object, the less it will compact.  The lesser the object compacts, the larger the void created and the greater probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured.  It is the most common shape you will see in collapsed buildings. Excerpts from “Triangle of Life” Doug Coup (No date)