Safety Resources

An officer carries a student from a flooded vehicle.

Download the Iowa State Safe mobile app

The Iowa State Safe mobile app is a one-stop shop for ISU safety and security. It also connects users to information and resources available through other campus services, including health and wellness, residence, dining, academic support, financial aid, and more. Look for Iowa State Safe in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Button with Apple logo and "Download on the App Store" text.
Button with logo and "Get it on Google Play" text.


Anyone on campus, including visitors, can request a ride with the SafeRide button in the Iowa State Safe app. The service is available from 6 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. throughout central campus and university areas, including ISU residence apartments, Greek parking lots, and the Sukup practice facility.

Mobile Blue Light

For an immediate connection to ISU Police dispatch in the case of an emergency, activate the Mobile Blue Light button in the Iowa State Safe app. Your GPS location is instantly sent to the map monitored by the ISU Police dispatch center.

Friend Walk and Virtual Walk Home

Both of these buttons in the Iowa State Safe app offer you a real-time, virtual escort as you walk by sharing a map with your GPS location that can be monitored until you safely reach your destination. Share your location with a friend or family member using Friend Walk, or send it to ISU Police dispatch with Virtual Walk Home.

Free self-defense training

Natasha Greene presents to students in a classroom.

Led by the ISU Police community outreach team, the self-defense course focuses on situational awareness, existing personal self-defense devices, and general physical skills and techniques that can be used in a variety of situations. The training is free for Iowa State students and employees.

The program covers striking (i.e. punches and elbow strikes), escaping an attack from behind, and an opportunity to practice those skills. Equipment will be provided by instructors. Participants are encouraged to dress in their typical day-to-day attire.

Participants will:

  • Know when to use self-defense
  • Understand the importance of enhanced safety awareness
  • Know how to demonstrate a proper strike and elbow
  • Know how to demonstrate a proper kick and knee strike
  • Know how to defend against choke holds
  • Understand the importance of other self-defense options

Contact to schedule training.

Protect yourself

Personal safety is of the utmost importance. Be vigilant, aware of your surroundings and take steps to ensure your safety. Learn how to be safe at Iowa State with tips, guidelines, and resources in the ISU Police's safety handbook.

  • Tell others where you’re going and when you expect to arrive. 
  • Download the Iowa State Safe app for a Friend Walk or Virtual Walk Home. 
  • Stick with friends and walk in pairs or groups.
  • Travel in well-lit areas and avoid wooded or secluded areas.
  • Call Safe Ride (update hyperlink) to request a ride during evening and overnight hours.
  • Carry your phone and ID. 
  • Avoid technology distractions.
  • Take steps to reduce your risk when consuming alcohol. 
  • Consider taking a free self-defense course (update hyperlink).  
  • Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, call police immediately.

  • Wear only one earpiece when using a personal listening device.
  • Never leave your backpack or other items unattended.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Register and lock your bicycle
  • Ride in accordance with traffic and bicycle laws.
  • Practice vehicle safety
    • Always lock your car and keep doors locked when you are in the vehicle.
    • Have your keys in hand and check the back seat before unlocking and entering.
    • After dark have someone accompany you to your vehicle. 
    • Park close to your destination if possible.
  • Practice online safety
    • Never reveal your social security number.
    • Avoid posting personal information or location.
    • Create passwords that cannot be easily guessed and change them regularly.
    • Carefully consider what you post online. Privacy settings are not “private” and online postings are available, even after being deleted.

Crime can occur anywhere, anytime — no one is immune.

  • Report suspicious behavior or threatening situations immediately.  Describe the person(s) or situations as completely as possible to the 911 dispatcher.
  • Seek assistance from ISU Police or Department of Residence staff if you are harassed, threatened or stalked.  Save all communications received including texts, emails, voicemail or written notes.
  • Avoid propping open exterior and fire doors or allowing strangers to enter.
  • Report possible hazards such as nonworking lights, broken windows or damaged doors.


Knowledge and quick response is vital

Keep emergency numbers in your phone and on your person.

  • Emergencies only: 911
  • ISU Police:  515-294-4428
  • Local police department and sheriff’s department
  • Iowa State Patrol

Keep “ICE” (in case of emergency) numbers in your phone and on your person. If you are injured or seriously ill, your personal contact information will be vital.

911 information

  • 911 dialed from an on-campus land line will connect you with ISU Police.
  • 911 dialed from a cell phone on campus will be routed to Ames Police, Story County Sheriff or the Iowa State Patrol.  The dispatcher will likely transfer the call to ISU Police.
  • Stay on the phone with the 911 dispatcher; give your location and information as clearly and calmly as possible to assist police and emergency personnel.  Follow the dispatcher’s directions.

Crisis situations (examples: natural disaster, attack)

  • Focus on getting to safety. Think, don’t panic. 
  • Follow instructions and procedures during an emergency.
  • Know the location of exits in your residence as well as campus buildings and facilities.
  • Report suspicious people, behavior or activity immediately.
  • Use common sense:  “threat” jokes or inflammatory statements could cause panic or retaliatory actions. You may be detained by police.
  • Respect emergency equipment such as smoke detectors, fire alarms and fire extinguishers. Report damaged equipment immediately.

Minimize risk to your home

  • Keep doors to your residence locked whether or not you are home.
  • Do not admit strangers to your home.
  • Close blinds/curtains at night.
  • Keep valuable items out of sight and securely stored. Make a list of items’ brand names, model and serial numbers for insurance purposes. If you are a victim of theft, accurate information may allow recovered items to be traced and returned.

ISU Alert notifications

The ISU Alert system uses phone, text, and email notifications to immediately contact the Iowa State community about potentially dangerous situations.