Your Safety

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>How To Protect Yourself>Hurricanes>Transportation & Safety
>Safety For Women>Contacts for Assistance>Protecting Your Money
>Local Laws>About Police Officers>Opening A Bank Account

How To Protect Yourself

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not walk alone at night.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Do not carry important documents with you.
  • Never give out your passport to anyone.
  • Put your money in the bank.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash.
  • Do not carry large bags and/or backpacks.
  • Use reflective gear, bike helmet, and headlights when riding a bike at night.
  • Lock your bike.
  • Use sunscreen to prevent serious sunburn.
  • Do not go into the ocean or pool, if you don’t know how to swim.
  • Swim near a lifeguard.
  • Be aware of rip currents.
  • Do not hitchhike, especially if you get a ride offered by a stranger.
  • Only carry a photo copy of your passport in your wallet, do not carry the original with you and keep the original in a safe place.
  • Ask a police officer for help, if you are ever in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation.

Safety for women
Women, especially international students, can easily be the target of robbery, rape, or other serious crimes. Helpful tips:

  • Never walk alone at night.
  • Always go out in a group.
  • Always keep an eye on your drink when you go out.
  • Never accept an open drink from a stranger.
  • Never drink something that looks or smells strange.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • If someone is following you, get to a well-lit area and call 911.

Local Laws
Please respect and follow the Local Laws!

  • Sun bathing in thong bathing suits, nude, or topless is prohibited.
  • Solicitation on public or private property is prohibited.
  • Hitchhiking is illegal.
  • Drinking alcohol under the age of 21 years is illegal.
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages in public or in a vehicle is illegal.
  • Being drunk in public is prohibited.
  • Causing damage to a hotel or motel room is illegal.
  • Disrupting the flow of traffic by a pedestrian is illegal.
  • Sleeping on the beach is illegal.
  • Other basic laws for the Myrtle Beach area can be found here: >Beach Laws

Hurricanes usually occur between June 1 and November 30.

  • Watch or listen to local TV and radio when there is a Hurricane Watch.
  • If an evacuation order is given, go to a shelter.
  • Use Coast RTA to get to a shelter.
  • Visit for pre-designated hurricane evacuation pickup points.
  • You may return to your place once an evacuation order is lifted and it is deemed safe.
  • For more information click here: >Hurricane Preparedness

Emergency & Assistance
In the event of an emergency, call 911 and stay on the phone until the police arrive and Call Your Sponsor..

Non-Emergency Myrtle Beach: (843) 918-1382
Non-Emergency North Myrtle Beach: (843) 280-5511
Non-Emergency Surfside Beach: (843) 913-6368
Non-Emergency Horry County: (843) 915-5350

Victims Assistance: (843) 918-1372
U.S. State Department J1 Visa Emergency Hotline: (866) 283-9090
For Sponsor 24 Hour Helpline Contact Numbers Click Here

Detective Pete Woods: (843) 918-1906,

Information about police officers in the U.S.:
Please do not be afraid to approach a police officer and ask for help. Police officers are public servants and can be trusted. They will not ask you for money and if you are lost, please do not hesitate to ask for directions.

Police and Fire Stations:
Myrtle Beach Police: (843) 918-1382 | Fire Department: (843) 918-1192
North Myrtle Beach Police: (843) 280-5511 | Fire Department: (843) 280-5531
Surfside Beach Police: (843) 913-6368 | Fire Department: (843) 913-6369
Horry County Police: (843) 915-5350 | Fire Department: (843) 915-5190

Grand Strand Regional Medical Center
809 82nd Parkway, South Strand Ambulatory Center, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
(843) 692-1000 | > Website

Conway Medical Center
300 Singleton Ridge Road, Conway, SC 29526
(843) 347-7111 | > Website

Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital
4070 Hwy 17 Bypass South, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
(843) 652-1000 | > Website

Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital
606 Black River Road, Georgetown, SC 29440
843-527-7000 l > Website

Transportation & Your Safety
In the U.S., few people walk or ride bikes. Therefore, drivers are not used to paying attention to pedestrians or bikers. It is very important that you pay attention yourself. If you do not, you can get into a very serious or fatal accident. Please be careful since these accidents can happen very easily.

When walking:

  • Always walk on the sidewalk.
  • Walk on the shoulder of the road, if there is no sidewalk.
  • Use crosswalks and do not walk on streets
  • Do not walk on 17 Bypass it is illegal.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Do not try to waive down cars and use them as cabs.

When riding your bike:

  • Obey all traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings.
  • Do not ride on the sidewalk.
  • Do not ride against the direction of traffic.
  • Ride on the far right-hand side of the road.
  • Use lights and reflectors when riding at night.
  • Pay close attention to pedestrians.
  • Be aware of auto drivers’ rights to turn right on red light.

> Bike Trails/Maps

We do not recommend renting a moped, since it is very expensive and dangerous to navigate in busy traffic. Students tend to speed or overlook traffic signs, which can result in getting traffic tickets.

We only recommend using a taxi if you urgently need to get from point A to point B. Taxis are very expensive. If you do use a taxi make sure you know where you are going and when you get into a taxi, check in the front of the dashboard for an ID card of the driver with a picture and a meter which tells you how much you are being charged per minute. If you do not see an ID card and a meter leave the taxi immediately.

Keep your money in a safe place.

  • Use an ATM card for purchases instead of carrying cash on you.
  • Avoid getting your money stolen or loosing your money.
  • Wire your money to your home country.
  • Use Internet banking for a quick overview of your account balance.
  • Keep your passport and other valuables safe in a safe deposit box.

What You Need to Open an Account:

  • Passport with J1 visa and DS-2019 and I-94 attached.
  • Social Security number OR receipt of your application for Social Security card.
  • You will need to fill out an application at the bank.

Banks With Free Checking Accounts:

Bank of America
2501 Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Wells Fargo
2110 Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

2619 North Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577