Residential Safety Tips and Education

While we may not be able to control the environment or fully prevent bad situations from occurring, there are steps each of us can take to better prepare ourselves to face natural disasters or personal tragedies. The information on this site is relatively basic. Residents are encouraged to further educate themselves in order to be as prepared as possibly in an emergency situation. 

Vehicle Safety

    • Always lock your car, even if leaving for only a short time.
    • Stay alert and aware of what is going on around you.
    • Always park in a well-lit area.
    • Never leave your vehicle running, especially while unlocked or unattended. 
    • Bags, backpacks, briefcases, sunglasses, clothing, keys, gym bags, purses, wallets and small change are all tempting to thieves.
    • If you must leave valuables, conceal them to ensure they are not visible. 
    • If your vehicle has an alarm, be sure and arm it. If your vehicle doesn’t have an alarm, install an audible alarm system and a viable anti-theft device. You can also install a vehicle immobilizer system. 
    • If you see anything suspicious, call the UAA Police Department immediately at 786-1120, or dial 911 in an emergency.

Animal Safety

We are fortunate to have amazing wildlife that sometimes find its way onto campus. If residents encounter an aggressive animal, please contact University Police immediately at 786-1120, or dial 911 in an emergency.

General Animal Safety

  • Residents should not pet, feed, or approach any animals. Feeding animals creates an association for the animals between humans and food. Animals that become accustomed to being fed by people may starve when this unnatural food source disappears.
  • Keep your distance--most animals frighten easily. Whether wildlife responds passively or aggressively, the fact that an animal "responds" to a human means that the person is too close.


  • What should you do if you see a bear?  Make noise, sing, or talk loudly. Hike in groups. If the bear does not see you, move away without alerting it. If the bear does notice you, face the bear, stand your ground, and talk to it calmly.
  • What should you do if a bear is aggressive? Very rarely are bears going to act aggressively. During an attack you should play dead. Fight back if a bear is calmly focused on you and makes contact, or breaks into a building. Concentrate on the bear's face or muzzle. 


  • How will you know if a moose is about to attack? The long hairs on its hump are raised, ears laid back, and it may lick its lips. A moose that sees you and walks slowly towards you is NOT trying to be your friend.
  • What should I do if a moose charges? When a moose charges it often kicks forward with its front hooves. It is a good idea to run from a moose because they won't chase you very far. Get behind something solid.

Natural Disaster Response:

While Alaska is a breathtakingly beautiful place, it can also be dangerous and unforgiving at times. During a natural disaster, every second counts! Commit this information to memory and practice it when you have the opportunity.  

  • Earthquakes: the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock.
    • If an earthquake happens, protect yourself right away. 
    • Drop (or lock): Wherever you are, drop down to your hands and knees and hold onto something sturdy. If you’re using a wheelchair or walker with a seat, make sure your wheels are locked and remain seated until the shaking stops.
    • Cover: Cover your head and neck with your arms. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Crawl only if you can reach better cover without going through an area with more debris. Stay on your knees or bent over to protect vital organs.
    • Hold On: If you are under a table or desk, hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves. If seated and unable to drop to the floor, bend forward, cover your head with your arms and hold on to your neck with both hands.
    • If you are in a car, pull over and stop. Set your parking brake.
    • If you are in bed, turn face down and cover your head and neck with a pillow.
    • If you are outdoors, stay outdoors away from buildings.
    • If you are inside, stay and do not run outside and avoid doorways.
  • Fires: Learn your building’s emergency evacuation plan. Make a personal escape plan that includes it. Go to each room and the building exits and point to the way out. Practice the plan with your roommate(s).
    • If there is smoke, get low and go. Get out fast. Close the door as you leave. Never go back in for any reason. Meet at your meeting place.
    • Feel the door before escaping. If the door is cool, exit the building as quickly as possible. Close doors behind you as you leave. Use the exit stairs to get out and stay out. If the door feels hot, call 911. Leave the door closed and use your second way out.
    • If you cannot get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around the door with cloth to keep smoke out. Call 911 or your fire department. Say where you are and then signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • Winter Weather: winter storms can be dangerous. They can bring cold temperatures, power failures, loss of communication services, and icy roads. This can make being outside dangerous, so you should limit your time outside. Our hope is that these tips will allow residents to enjoy the beauty of Alaska while remaining safe even during extreme weather conditions.
    • Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Make sure to keep them away from any flammable materials, like curtains or blankets.
    • In the event the power goes out, use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns. Avoid unnecessarily opening doors or windows. Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors. Close draperies or cover windows with blankets at night.
    • Dress warm and stay dry. 
    • Try not to sweat or become too tired.
    • Do not use alcohol and other mood altering substances, and avoid caffeinated drinks.
    • Carefully watch for signs of cold-weather health problems, like hypothermia and frostbite.
    • Source:
  • Volcanic Eruptions: volcanoes spew hot, dangerous gases, ash, lava, and rock that are powerfully destructive. Volcanic eruptions can result in additional threats to health, such as floods, mudslides, power outages, drinking water contamination, and wildfires. 
    • Evacuate immediately if ordered to do so or lava flow is headed towards you. 
    • Close all windows, doors, and fireplace dampers in the Templewood Townhomes. 
    • If there is ashfall, wear long sleeves and pants. Use goggles to protect your eyes. Wear a disposable particulate respirator (i.e. N-95 mask) or other protective mask when outside. 
    • Keep your car or truck engine switched off. Avoid driving in heavy ashfall. Driving will stir up ash that can clog engines and stall vehicles.
    • Source:

Theft Prevention

  • Do not tamper with the ability of your door to fully shut (i.e. taping your door latch, obstructing the door from closing, etc.).
  • Be sure to close and lock your doors and windows, especially if you will not return for a long period of time. Theft is often just a crime of opportunity.
  • Residents should be cautious and aware of guests they allow to be in their suite or apartments. Even people you know well can take advantage of opportunities to take your belongings. Be sure and escort your guests at all times!
  • Lock up or hide your valuables when leaving your room. Make it a habit of putting away or hiding your valuables in a drawer, under your bed, or in a safe locker. 
  • If you suspect any suspicious activity, contact UPD or the RA-on-Duty.