Travel & Safety Tips – National Model UN Version • NY
1. Do not wear your delegate badges outside of the hotel or the UN. They are a sign that you’re a tourist and that you are potentially vulnerable.
2. New York City is generally safe, but you should avoid flashing cash at an ATM machine or on the street, being alone in an elevator with someone you feel uncomfortable with (start a conversation and make eye contact so they know you will recognize their face), and sitting or standing in a subway near the doors where you are more vulnerable to theft.
3. To defend yourself against a violent assailant, use an elbow (one of your strongest bones) or pinch their tricep (the muscle on the back side of the upper arm). Other self-defense suggestions include gouging their eyes, hitting the bottom of their nose with the bottom of your palm, sharp blows to both sides of the head at the ears, kicks to the groin area and knees, and stomping on the top of their foot. The goal is to distract them enough so they release you in order for you to run to safety. Think twice about putting your hair in a ponytail as it makes a great handle for someone to use to grab you.
4. Your delegation should arrange for a meeting place outside of and away from the hotel in the event of an emergency. Consider carrying a small flashlight. Develop a telephone tree (calling list) using cell phone numbers so that you can inform others in your group of a problem.
5. Be aware of your surroundings and be alert. People talking on cell phones or listening to iPods are more frequently attacked because they are unaware of what is happening around them.
6. If someone attempts to rob you by asking for your wallet do not hand it to them. Instead toss it away from you and run. The chances are that they will be more interested in the money than chasing you.
7. If you bring a computer, remember you are responsible for its security.
8. In the hotel, make sure you know where the exits are on your floor in the event of a fire or another emergency. In the event of a fire, do not panic. Follow these steps:
• Do not use any elevator in a fire;
9. Do not drink alcohol excessively or at all. NMUN has strict rules regarding personal behavior. There is no drinking in committee sessions. The legal drinking age in New York is 21 years of age.
10. Remember that there are other non-NMUN guests in the hotel. NMUN neither sanctions nor tolerates offensive behavior by delegates, e.g., partying in rooms/hallways/staircases, loud, crude, and obnoxious talk and behavior, etc. The NMUN has a long and proud history, and we value our relationship with our hotels and with the United Nations. We will ask you to leave the conference, and we will notify your college or university if your behavior is inappropriate.
11. Bring spending money. New York is an expensive city. Watch out for “Tourist Trap” stores and street sales, especially in Times Square. Remember to keep some cash in reserve in the event of an emergency.
12. Do have a good time. If you give yourself a chance, you will find this experience to be truly rewarding.
13. Do participate. NMUN is not an opportunity to ‘shop until you drop’ or a spring break vacation. Be on time for committee sessions and attend all of them. NMUN is potentially a life-changing experience. Take full advantage of this unique opportunity.