1. Make your home look occupied while you're away. Consider leaving lights on timers.
  2. Lock your doors while you are home, even during the day. Many burglaries happen in broad daylight. Unlocked windows and doors account for at least 50% of U.S. residential burglaries.
  3. Interior doors accessed from your garage are often weaker than exterior doors. Keep your garage closed at all times. A burglar can be in and out in seconds, taking bicycles and tools with them. 
  4. Motion sensing floodlights are a good investment, especially if placed in areas around your home that are hidden by fences or shrubs.
  5. Even the strongest deadbolt can be defeated if the door frame is not reinforced. When doors are kicked in usually the door frame and trim brake not the door or lock. Deadbolt strike plates should be screwed into the door frame and studs with long screws (3 inches or longer). Many online sources offer step-by-step instructions.
  6. Don't advertise to would-be thieves that your house is a tempting target. Don't leave bikes and expensive equipment laying out in the open. If you buy a new flatscreen TV, don't leave the box on the curb. 


  1. Report any suspicious activity, even if you believe it's minor. We want to know what is happening in our neighborhood. For emergencies call 911. Report other suspicious activity on the non-emergency dispatch line at 319-356-6800.
  2. Volunteer with a local Neighborhood Watch program. Contact the police department for more information and visit the National Neighborhood Watch website. Anyone with interest in starting and/or growing a neighborhood watch program can visit. 


  1. Wear bright clothing, especially at night.
  2. Carry a charged cell phone and flashlight.
  3. Consider purchasing a defensive weapon. A bright flashlight can blind an attacker and give you time to escape. Pepper spray and whistles are also effective.  
  4. Walk with purpose and confidence, and maintain an awareness of your surroundings. You can avoid becoming a victim by not looking like one. 
  5. Keep your hands free. If you are listening to music, leave out one earbud so you can still hear what is going on around you.
  6. Take well-lit and heavily travelled paths.
  7. Avoid walking alone.
  8. Let someone know where you are going and when they should expect you back. 
  9. If something feels wrong trust your instincts. If you are being followed go to a public area and call the police. This is often safer than walking to your car or home.


  1. It is vital that bicyclists riding at night have a front lamp and rear reflector. Not doing so is dangerous and illegal.
  2. Wear bright and reflective clothing. 
  3. Even though Iowa law does not require riders to wear helmets, it is foolish to bike without one.
  4. Know the rules of the road and follow them. Bike with the flow of traffic and don't make sudden movements that drivers won't expect.


  1. Spend time planning for natural and manmade disasters.
  2. Have escape routes from your home and practice them with your children. 
  3. Practice sheltering in place to prepare for earthquakes and tornadoes.
  4. Make an emergency preparedness kit. It is especially important to keep one in your vehicle during severe weather. Visit for more information.
  5. The DHS and FEMA offer extensive online resources: