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Red Cross Provides Tips for College-Bound Students
"Learn what to do in an emergency by taking a CPR/First Aid/AED class before heading to school."
Students heading off to college—perhaps for the first time this year—may be inexperienced at driving long distances or driving alone. When preparing college-aged children for a long drive to school, make sure they take the following precautions.
Before packing the car, do a simple safety check. Check lights, turn signals, tire pressure and fluid levels.
Make sure you pack carefully so there is nothing blocking your view through the rear window.
Prepare an emergency kit for your vehicle and keep there at all times. Include a first aid kit as well as items like a blanket, flares, a flashlight, batteries and jumper cables.
Leave early and give yourself enough time to travel at a comfortable pace.
If you find yourself getting tired, pull over to a gas station to walk around and refresh yourself.
Never talk on your cell phone while driving. If you must use the phone, pull over to a safe, well-lit parking lot. Place your call there or at least use a hands-free earpiece. NEVER text and drive.
When driving in inclement weather reduce your speed. Don’t make sudden moves if the roads are wet. Applying the brakes slowly and steadily will help you keep better control of your vehicle.
Remember to always wear your seat belt and require any passengers to do the same.
The beginning of the school year also means that many students will be moving into new dorms or off-campus apartments. Use the following tips to make moving and returning to school a seamlessly safe process.
If you are hiring a moving company, first research the company to ensure that they are reputable.
Keep an emergency kit on hand during your move. Also buy a kit to keep in your home.
When moving you will have to make multiple trips to and from your car or moving vehicle. Lock all vehicles that are unattended.
Inspect your new home for carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Be sure to test each alarm to ensure that they work properly.
Stock your dorm room with a basic first aid kit, basic emergency preparedness kit, and an extra dose of any needed medications. (Think epi-pens, inhalers, etc.)
Learn your surroundings, as in how to safely exit the building in the event of a fire and where to go inside the building should severe weather strike. Remember that stairs – and not elevators – should be used during emergencies.
Figure out where the AED(s) and fire extinguisher(s) for your floor/building are kept.
Get acquainted with your new roommates and exchange numbers with them. Also let them know who your emergency contacts are.
Share your class schedule with your family and friends so that they can locate you in case of an emergency.
Consider getting a spare key. Immediately report all lost keys to your landlord or resident advisor.
New students should familiarize themselves with the campus. Learn where emergency stations are located and save all emergency contact numbers.
Learn what to do in an emergency by taking a CPR/First Aid/AED class before heading to school or as soon as possible after arriving on campus. Participate in every fire and severe weather drill as though it’s the real thing. Share your schedule with your roommate, close friends, and/or family members so they could track you down if necessary, and determine how you would contact these people if an emergency separated you from your phone and computer.
The American Red Cross is – as always – dedicated to preparing students for a safe and healthy school year. Check out the resources listed below, and visit your college or university’s website for additional campus-specific health and safety information.
For more information about preparing for emergencies or for facts and tips about safety, visit www.redcross.org.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/gny or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.