preparedness

Texas DPS warns spring break travelers to avoid Mexico

Stock photo of road warning signThe Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) is urging all Texas spring breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico.

The U.S. State Department website lists several travel alerts related to violence in Mexico. Travelers should always check that website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico.

The official notice from TxDPS:

March 1, 2011

DPS discourages Spring Break travel to Mexico
Reminds boaters of dangers on Falcon Lake

The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging Spring Breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico because of continued violence – and reminding boaters to stay on the U.S. side of Falcon Lake.

Falcon Lake has been the scene of several robberies and a U.S. citizen’s murder, and DPS is again warning boaters to steer clear of the Mexican side of the lake. Cartel activity remains high in that area.

“While drug cartel violence is most severe in northern Mexico, it is prominent in other parts of the country as well,” said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw. “Various crime problems also exist in many popular resort areas, such as Acapulco and Cancun, and crimes against U.S citizens often go unpunished.”

So far this year, an ICE agent was killed and another injured in a suspected ambush near San Luis Potosi February 15. Two El Paso teens were gunned down February 5 in Ciudad Juarez. In January, a Texas missionary was shot in the head when she and her husband ran an illegal road block in Nuevo León.

In addition to U.S citizens killed so far this year, preliminary figures show as many as 65 Americans were killed in Mexico in 2010. Kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery and carjacking also are threats in parts of Mexico. Suspects have not been prosecuted in many of the cases. Meanwhile, more than 30,000 Mexican citizens have died in drug-related violence since 2006, and the violence shows no signs of abating.

“Drug violence has not discriminated – innocent bystanders and people who may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time are among the casualties. Underestimating the violence in Mexico would be a mistake for parents and students,” said McCraw. “Our safety message is simple: avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive.”

DPS acknowledges that many travel to Mexico without incident, but the risks cannot be ignored. Travelers are encouraged to carefully research any planned trips.

Travelers should always check the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico. (See http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html or http://mexico.usembassy.gov/eng/eacs_MexicoSecurityUpdate.html.)

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico are urged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through their website at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.

> Read more, including safe spring break tips, from SMU News

SMU urges inoculation as the 2011 flu season continues

Stock photo of a person receiving an immunizationAlthough SMU is not experiencing a large number of flu cases at this time, it is still flu season and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says there are widespread cases in Texas, as well as neighboring Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Since flu can spread easily from person to person, the University urges all community members to take these preventative measures:

  • Get a flu shot. The shots are available at the SMU Health Center or local pharmacies. The Health Center offers immunizations on Tuesdays (1:30-3:30 p.m.) and Wednesdays (9-11 a.m.). Complete the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Form (PDF format) and bring it with you, along with your SMU ID.
  • Cover your cough with your elbow or sleeve and avoid touching your face.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

The University provides the shots at no cost for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff. Other faculty, staff and spouses may purchase shots for $25. Please bring cash or a check made out to the SMU Health Center.

> Visit the SMU Flu Preparedness site at smu.edu/flu
> Learn more about the Health Center’s flu shot program

By | 2011-02-07T16:01:14+00:00 February 7, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Forecast calls for…the SMU inclement-weather policy

Originally posted Jan. 7, 2011.

Snowman outside Perkins Chapel, SMUA North Texas winter can bring dangerous conditions, even when it’s not freezing. SMU aims to remain open – but when the weather warrants closing or delays, the University has procedures in place to ensure that students, faculty and staff know where to go for information.

  • If a decision is made to close or delay, an e-mail message will be sent to all students, faculty and staff.
  • Closing announcements will be available by phone at 214-SMU-INFO (214-768-4636).
  • In addition, closing announcements will be posted on the SMU website and through SMU’s Twitter feed (twitter.com/SMU) and Facebook page (facebook.com/smudallas).
  • SMU News will contact the news media.

> Learn more at the University’s Inclement Weather Policy page

By | 2011-01-31T15:08:39+00:00 January 31, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Flu shot clinics scheduled for Nov. 10-11

Stock photo of a man receiving a flu shotGet protected now for upcoming exams and holidays: The SMU Health Center will offer two 2010 flu shot clinics this week on the University’s main campus.

Faculty, staff members and students can get their shots 2-4:30 p.m. Nov. 10 and 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 11 in the Memorial Health Center.

The University pays for flu shots for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff. Other faculty and staff members, as well as spouses, may purchase shots for $25.

This year, a single shot will protect against H1N1, or the swine flu, and two other widespread flu strains that affected the Southern Hemisphere during the last flu season. Health officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated.

To shorten your wait at the flu clinic, take these steps:

• Complete the 2010-11 Flu Vaccine Form and bring it with you.
• Review the Health Center’s Health Information Privacy Policy (HIPAA).
• Review the flu vaccine information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
• Bring your SMU ID or ID number to the clinic.

Keep up with the latest flu information, including upcoming clinic schedules, at smu.edu/flu.

By | 2010-11-10T09:39:37+00:00 November 10, 2010|Categories: News, Save the Date|Tags: , , , , , , , |

November flu shot clinics scheduled for main campus

Stock photo of a man receiving a flu shotThe SMU Health Center has scheduled 2010 flu shot clinics for the first two Wednesdays of November on the University’s main campus.

Faculty, staff members and students can get their shots 2-4:30 p.m. Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 in the Memorial Health Center.

The University pays for flu shots for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff. Other faculty and staff members, as well as spouses, may purchase shots for $25.

This year, a single shot will protect against H1N1, or the swine flu, and two other widespread flu strains that affected the Southern Hemisphere during the last flu season. Health officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated.

To shorten your wait at the flu clinic, take these steps:

• Complete the 2010-11 Flu Vaccine Form and bring it with you.
• Review the Health Center’s Health Information Privacy Policy (HIPAA).
• Review the flu vaccine information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
• Bring your SMU ID or ID number to the clinic.

Keep up with the latest flu information, including upcoming clinic schedules, at smu.edu/flu.

By | 2010-11-02T14:24:11+00:00 November 2, 2010|Categories: News, Save the Date|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Flu shot clinic at SMU-in-Plano Oct. 27

Stock photo of a man receiving a flu shotThe SMU Health Center has organized a 2010 flu shot clinic for students, faculty and staff members at SMU-in-Plano. The clinic will take place 4-6 p.m. Oct. 27 in Building 3.

Additional clinics have also been scheduled for the main campus. Faculty and staff members can get their shots 2-4:30 p.m. Nov. 3 and from 2-4 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Memorial Health Center.

The University pays for flu shots for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff. Other faculty and staff members, as well as spouses, may purchase shots for $25.

This year, a single shot will protect against H1N1, or the swine flu, and two other widespread flu strains that affected the Southern Hemisphere during the last flu season. Health officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated.

To shorten your wait at the flu clinic, take these steps:

• Complete the 2010-11 Flu Vaccine Form and bring it with you.
• Review the Health Center’s Health Information Privacy Policy (HIPAA).
• Review the flu vaccine information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
• Bring your SMU ID or ID number to the clinic.

Keep up with the latest flu information, including upcoming clinic schedules, at smu.edu/flu.

By | 2010-10-27T09:49:24+00:00 October 27, 2010|Categories: News, Save the Date|Tags: , , , , , , , |

State Department urges caution for travel to Mexico, Europe

Stock photo of travelers in an airportThe Bureau of Consular Affairs for the U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Mexico because of drug-related violence, particularly in the northern border regions, and a travel alert for Europe because of heightened concerns about potential terrorist attacks.

If you are planning to travel to Mexico, or are currently in Mexico, please consult the travel warning and the U.S. Embassy’s Mexico Security Update.

If you are planning to travel to Europe, or are currently in Europe, please consult the travel alert, the regularly updated Worldwide Caution and the country-specific information found through the Department’s homepage.

State Department Tips for Those Traveling in Mexico include:

  • If you believe you are being targeted for kidnapping or other crimes, notify Mexican law enforcement officials and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City or the nearest U.S. consulate as soon as possible.
  • Make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll (“cuota”) roads, which generally are more secure.
  • Stay in the well-known tourist areas. Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member not traveling with you and avoid traveling alone.
  • Check with your cellular provider prior to departure to confirm that your cell phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G international networks.
  • Do not display expensive-looking jewelry or large amounts of money.
  • Be alert to pickpockets and general street crime throughout Mexico, but especially in large cities.
  • Monitor local media for information about fast-breaking situations that could affect their security.

State Department Tips for Those Traveling Abroad include:

  • Register so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency.
  • Sign your passport, and fill in the emergency information.
  • Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  • Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation.
  • Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws.
  • To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money.
  • In case of emergency, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

If you need more information or have additional questions, call 214-768-4475.

By | 2010-10-13T13:24:41+00:00 October 13, 2010|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |
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