Home LifestyleHealth 12 Ways to Stay Safe in a City

12 Ways to Stay Safe in a City

by Jennifer Tripucka
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Hoboken + Jersey City are amazing places to live, with restaurants, culture, and things to do galore. BUT, they’re still cities, and there is always room for improvement when it comes to being vigilant. From walking home late to headphone usage and apps that are {sadly} necessary — there are specific precautions you can take to keep yourself feeling a little more comfortable in an urban environment. Here are some tips to keep safe in a city like Hoboken or Jersey City.

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  1. Late at night, consider your walking-home alternatives.


Uber, Lyft, and Cabs are readily available at the click of the home button on your iPhone {or a walk to the cab stand}. Just remember to check that the license plate number of your rideshare car matches what’s on the app. Ask them the name of who they are picking up, rather than telling them —if they don’t know it, leave. Another great option is the light rail earlier in the evenings — which has stops at Hoboken Terminal, 2nd St., and 9th St — great for those who live in West Hoboken and don’t want to cough up that $5 cab fare. But when in doubt, and anytime after dark — taking a car or walking with a buddy is usually the safer option.

2. Carry mace.

While it sounds intense, sometimes just having something in your purse in case of an attack is a good thing. If you’re feeling extra nervous, hold it in your hand. {Editor’s note: I have a cute little pink mace I keep in my purse at all times!} 

3. Do the Elevator “Gut-Check.”

Do the “Elevator ‘Gut-Check,'” which is basically the gut feeling you get when you walk into an uncomfortable situation {like an elevator with someone who just feels “off”} and know that something is not right. If it doesn’t feel right, make an excuse {or don’t even}, and GET OUT! Who cares if the person feels weird that you’ve just gotten out of the elevator {or walked the other way}; your safety is of the utmost importance, and that goes hand in hand with feeling safe internally.

4. Use Safety Apps.

A few we’ve used:

  • – Staysafe: alerts people of your choosing about your GPS location, etc.
  • Find Friends: the same type of thing – alerts friends of your GPS location.
  •  – Companion App: this one tracks your walk home, and you can set up alerts to let people know that you feel uncomfortable {the friends listed as your favorites in the app get a text to call the police, keep watch, etc}. Definitely a fave!

5. Lock the Door {and don’t sit in your car…in general}.

It seems like a duh, but it’s far too easy to come home and crash on the couch, only to realize 15 minutes later {to a few hours later} that you totally forgot to lock the door. There have been some scary stories of people entering apartments in Hoboken on the off-chance that a resident forgot to deadbolt before sitting down.  Sitting in your car while it’s idling is also never a good thing to do — but if you’ve watched too many Law and Order episodes, you already know. Just saying.

6. Have a buddy system.

If you’re not tech-savvy enough to download apps and get all involved with your iPhone, just have someone on call that knows you’re walking home and when they should expect you home. Better safe than sorry! There’s an app called

7. Don’t be on your phone when you are walking at night {especially alone}.

Your head is down, you don’t notice someone following you or {potentially worse} that pothole/black ice in front of you and you slip and fall. Just be alert and off your phone while walking {unless you’re reading HG, that is 😉 }. Just like when driving, it can wait.

8. Don’t wear headphones at night.

You should not, especially at night, wear headphones. That is another way to be totally unaware of what is happening around you. If someone is following you, or coming after you, and your headphones are blasting, you won’t be able to hear what’s going on. It sounds drastic, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

9. Wear comfortable shoes.

The heels look good, but sneaks {there are some very chic pairs out there and also #athleisure} are totally worth it. You don’t want to feel like you can’t get out of a situation that may arise. It’s obviously not a common occurrence, but it’s good to feel like you’re in control of the situation {and that your stilettos aren’t}.

10. Talk to your local government/business owners.

This works in several ways. If you’re feeling unsafe, do NOT feel uncomfortable about asking a police officer or someone that you trust to walk you to your car/apartment {if it’s close} or call you a cab. There is a police presence in Hoboken that is usually visible, and you should use it to your advantage.

11. Watch your drink.

When out at a bar/club, keep an eye on your drink. If you’ve left it and then come back, order a new one. Date rape drugs are almost always undetectable until it’s too late. There’s also a portable test from Undercover Colors that detects date rape drugs from just a drop of your drink.

12. Consider taking a self-defense class.

While particular steps to keep yourself out of danger may work, there is always the possibility that they won’t. Learning how to physically defend yourself in the event of a real-life threat ensures your own protection. And while you may not be a black belt in karate, a few simple moves could give you enough time to run away from an attacker. We will be putting a list of these classes together soon. Stay tuned!

This isn’t a post to make you feel afraid and want to hole up in your apartment. Rather, it’s a post to make you be aware of the fact that living in an urban area, like anywhere, can be dangerous — and it’s good to take precautions. As much as tight-knit as Hoboken is, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

What are your tips for staying safe in a city {such as Hoboken}?

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