Autumn is just around the corner and everyone is heading back to school. College campuses are coming alive with energetic students and there is nothing like the electricity of a college town on game day! Everything from the tailgate parties before, to the final touchdown and the celebration parties afterward can be an awesome experience if you keep these college game day safety tips in mind.

💡 Stay with your tribe. Make a pact with your friends before you leave for the game that you will all come home from game day together too. It sounds so basic, but the buddy system is actually extremely effective. You won’t be able to carry any self-defense weapons into the stadium so you will have to pay extra attention and rely on each other for personal safety on game day.

💡 Program I.C.E. into your cell phone. I.C.E. stands for In Case of Emergency and it is the universal number that all emergency personnel know to look for in someone’s phone if they are injured, unconscious or otherwise cannot speak for themselves. This should be the phone number for your emergency contact. In fact, it’s a good idea to have an I.C.E. contact and an I.C.E. back-up contact in case your first contact is not available to answer in an emergency when seconds may matter.

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💡 Make sure your phone is fully charged and take a back-up battery charger with you to the game day festivities. It will be a long day and you’re sure to be taking videos and pics that eat up battery life. The last thing you want is to lose track of your tribe and not be able to reach them by phone because your battery is dead.

💡 Know where the emergency exits are as you enter the stadium and have a pre-arranged meet-up place (outside the stadium) with your crew in case there is a mass panic and you need to get out fast. It will be chaos if everyone is trying to run out the exits at once and you need to have these plans in place beforehand.

💡 Always carry some form of bulletproof protection with you if you are heading to an event where there will be large, public crowds (like a college football game). Unfortunately, this is the horrible reality on American college campuses now. Having a bulletproof panel to cover your head as you are running or to slide under your shirt and protect your vital organs could be the difference between surviving a domestic terrorist attack and being a statistic. Bulletproof inserts are an easy solution and an excellent option because you can move them in and out of whichever bag you happen to be carrying on any given day.

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💡 Leave your expensive jewelry and accessories at home. Game day is the perfect opportunity for pick pockets and purse grabbers to scope out their target and then grab your gear in the hectic crowds. Don’t be a walking billboard to thieves by wearing your diamond earrings and Gucci purse.

💡 Pace yourself on the alcohol and make sure to stay hydrated. If you start drinking at the pre-game tailgate party and then plan to hit the victory parties afterward, it’s going to be a long day. A good rule of thumb is no more than one drink per hour. As a general rule, that is the rate an average human body can metabolize alcohol out of your system. Drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic drink is another good way to make sure you don’t get wasted drunk and also stay hydrated. (Not to mention, you don’t want to have to call home for bail bond money or an emergency room visit.)

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💡 You won’t be able to carry pepper spray or a stun gun into the stadium so leave those at home. Predators know these rules too, so they are already aware that anyone attending the game will not be armed with self-protection. This leaves you particularly vulnerable. Statistics have shown that the number of reported sexual assault crimes jumps by a shocking 28% on game days! You will have to rely on your self-defense training for hand-to-hand combat if you are attacked. Most college campuses offer free self-defense classes if you contact Campus Security for information.

💡 Carry date rape drink test strips in your purse or back pocket. They are super small and easy to carry. All you have to do is place a drop of your beverage on the date rape drink test strip and it will tell you if someone tampered with your drink.

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💡 Be extra cautious walking and driving on game day. Your college town population probably just doubled for the day and a lot of those fans will be drinking. You may be completely sober, but the guy who stumbles off the curb and into traffic may not.

💡 Take expensive things out of your car before you head to the game. If you are one of those peeps that basically lives in your car, chances are you’ve got your laptop, tablet or something else expensive on the backseat. Even your textbooks are valuable to a thief who can resell them to another student for profit! To put these things in your trunk is another option, but why even take the chance of getting broken into? Just put all that stuff in the dorm or apartment before you drive to the game and don’t tempt fate.

💡 Tag your parking location in GPS before heading into the stadium. This will make finding your car a lot easier when you leave. The less time you spend wandering around and looking for your car, the less chance you have of being in danger. Additionally, this will also leave a location tag for police if something were to happen to you. Being able to find your car and tracking your movements from that location may be a valuable step in a missing person search.

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Incorporate these tips into your self-defense practice to ensure you have a safe college game day. The biggest safety disadvantage you have at college campus sporting events is that you are not permitted to carry self-defense weapons with you into these events. Because of this, you need to apply your safety awareness knowledge and rely on your friends to watch out for each other. A few simple safety preps can keep your fun at max level and your frowns to a minimum as you show off your team spirit this football season.

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