Holiday Safety Tips from LMU Emergency Management

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT | With winter break and the holidays around the corner, many Lions will hit the roads and skies. In continuation of FEMA and monthly preparedness themes, LMU Emergency Management shares the following tips for an enjoyable holiday season.

Securing Your Residence Before You Leave

  • Create the illusion that you will still be home. Set a timer to keep a light on at night, in a room that’s visible from the street.
    • Place a mail hold. The USPS can hold your mail while you’re gone, minimizing the risk of mail theft and preventing mail and packages from piling up at your door (another telltale sign that you’re gone for an extended period).
    • Notify a trusted neighbor. Share contact information, and inform them of the dates you’ll be gone so they can keep an eye out for anything unusual.
    • Never hide an extra key under a mat or other easily accessible place. Criminals know all the hiding places. Rather, give the key to the trusted neighbor.
    • Disconnect power cords and appliances, and especially Christmas tree lights. This saves unused energy and minimizes fire danger.
    • Double-check everything before you leave. Make sure all doors and windows are locked, and secure sliding doors with a safety bar in the door track. Close blinds so strangers can’t peek inside. Hide electronics and other valuables, or take them with you.

Travel Tips

  • Be weather wise. Know the forecast during your travels, and learn the local weather risks and what to do before, during, and after.
  • Pack a travel first-aid kit. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, it’s wise to have a kit, in case you get hit with a stomach bug, the flu or have a scrape. Have a variety of supplies for yourself and pets. This can range from varying size bandages, antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream, fever and pain reducer, cold and flu relief medication and allergy medicine.
  • Drink plenty of water. This simple tip helps prevent dehydration, constipation, and overcomes jet lag.
  • If driving, keep your tank half full at all times. This ensures you won’t get stranded, should you get caught in inclement weather.

Cold, Flu, and COVID-19 Prevention

  • Follow all common cold prevention tips, especially in high-traffic places like airports and malls. Wear a mask. Try to minimize touching door handles, escalator rails, and other frequently-used surfaces with your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. When you can’t help it, remember to wash your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when water and soap are not immediately available.
  • Know the differences between COVID-19 and the flu. Symptoms are similar, and can be hard to differentiate. Learn more here.
  • Feeling sick? Get tested. Often a COVID-19 test is needed to determine if an individual has COVID-19 or the flu. If you feel ill, follow the steps on the LMU A-Z Index. Remember, COVID-19 tests are available free of charge to LMU students, staff, and faculty.