Safety and Wellness

Natural Disaster Emergencies

It is important to be prepared in case of a natural disaster, such as flood, hurricane, tropical storm, tornado, earthquake, etc. Upon arrival into the U.S, Students should ensure they familiarize themselves with emergency procedures in case of a natural disaster affecting their Host Employer’s business, and/or the area in general.

In case of a natural disaster, AWA strongly urges Students to communicate with their Host Employer, as well as, to track the path of the natural disaster (online, or on the local news), and take it serious. If Students reside in an affected area, they may be required to immediately evacuate and/or take shelter at an evacuee center.

Students should always:

  • Follow the direction of state, local, and tribal officials, and evacuate, if necessary
  • Review the FEMA website, regarding the information of the shelters that are to be open for people affected by the natural disaster

Below is the link for the FEMA website, if Students should encounter any natural disaster throughout the duration of their program:



Please review 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report:

Human Trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purpose of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.

Students should remember the following:

  • In an emergency, call 911.
  • Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.
  • GET HELP and connect with a service provider in the area.
  • REPORT A TIP with information on potential human trafficking activity.
  • LEARN MORE by requesting training, technical assistance, or resources.


The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The NHTRC is not a law enforecement or immigration authority; they are operated by a non-gevernmental organization funded by the Federal government.


Students Driving / Renting Cars

AWA Students often decide to rent a car, and to drive across the U.S. AWA strongly discourages them from doing so, as they may put themselves in danger. If Students decide to rent a car and/or drive in the U.S., they should familiarize themselves with the local laws, as they may be completely different from those in their home country.

Students can drive in the U.S with the license from their country as long as it is valid and it is on them. They will also need to have a credit card, as the car rental agencies keep it on file. Insurance is generally included when Students rent the vehicle (the minimum liability cover), but they will be asked if they would like to add extra cover. Students must be at least 25 years of age, in order to rent a car.


Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  • Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
  • Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
  • Cross the street in a well-lit area at night.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see.


Bike and Pedestrian Safety

Each year, many J-1 Students get into bike accidents and/or get hit by cars. It is extremely important that they understand bike and pedestrian safety.

When biking or riding anywhere, Students must:

  • Wear a helmet.
  • Have light reflectors and night safety gear when riding in the dark.
  • Use proper turning signals (see below).
  • Look both ways of street before crossing.



Alcohol and Drugs

  • The legal drinking age in the U.S is 21; consumption of alcohol under 21 is illegal and will lead to immediate program termination.
  • Providing alcohol to a minor (under 21) will also result in immediate program termination.
  • Never accept a drink from a stranger or leave drinks unattended.
  • The U.S has an “Open Container” law, meaning any kind of alcohol must be unopened and concealed in public areas.
  • Going to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol of any kind will result in immediate program termination.
  • Driving any kind of vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous and illegal, this will also result in immediate program termination.


Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is behavior that is UNINVITED, UNWANTED, and UNWELCOME by the recipient which includes:

  • Physical contact
  • Verbal abuse
  • Gestures
  • Written messages

Students should take immediate action if this happens: say no, keep records of all incidents, and contact AWA immediately!