With winter quickly approaching, extremely cold weather is coming whether we like it or not. This year, forecasters are predicting yet another winter with below average temperatures and lots of snow; the Farmers Almanac even referring to it as a “polar coaster.” Whether you are new to Minnesota or have lived here your whole life, it is smart to start thinking about how to stay safe when dangerous temperatures are upon us, specifically on campus. Here is a list of things to keep in mind when heading into the winter months.
Make sure to wear lots of clothing.
Although this may sound obvious, it is really important! Making sure to wear appropriate clothing that not only keeps you comfortable, but can also keep you safe. When it gets extremely cold, exposed skin can get frostbitten in as quick as 5 minutes. Getting in the habit of throwing on gloves before going outside, even if it’s only one building away, will help protect against harm.
If you are a commuter, have a safety kit in your car.
Keeping a kit of materials to use if you are ever stuck in the cold during your commute can be a literal lifesaver. Consider stocking up on blankets, water, granola bars, extra clothes, hand/foot warmers and a phone charger, shovel, jumper cables, etc… in order to be safe if your car ever stops working or you get stuck somewhere.
Here are some things to keep in your car during the winter months. Photo credit Evelyn Harrison.
Practice safe driving.
You should always drive safely, but in the winter this becomes an even bigger issue. When it becomes icy, it is important to not follow cars as closely as you would in other months. Also be aware of your speed in general, and especially around turns and at stop signs. Along with your safety kit inside your vehicle, never allow your gas tank to drop to almost empty, in case you get stranded somewhere. Lastly, no matter what season it is, make sure to NEVER EVER DRIVE DRUNK!
Winter is coming quickly, and it is crucial to be prepared in order to avoid a dangerous and possibly deadly situation. I hope these tips help and remember to stay safe. Happy winter!