Public safety officials offer common sense tips to improve survival in extreme winter weather

Photo of the Holmes Student Center in winterWith the winter storm season here again, the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety provides the following recommendations to heed during extreme winter weather conditions.

Stay indoors if possible

  • Residents should have a battery operated radio, extra blankets, and a three-day supply of essentials such as water, non-perishable foods, first-aid supplies, medication, pet supplies and batteries.
  • Prepare a list of family and emergency contact numbers and make sure your cell phone is charged.
  • Know where the nearest shelter is located in case of loss of power or heat for an extended period of time.

If going outside

  • Wear warm, loose-fitting layers of clothing. Keep your mouth covered to protect your lungs.
  • Wear hats that cover your ears and waterproof, insulated boots.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Avoid texting while walking.
  • Walk carefully on sidewalks.
  • Avoid walking in streets to reduce the chance of being struck by motorized vehicles.

Shoveling Snow

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • Don’t over-exert yourself.
  • Shovel in shifts. For example, shovel every few hours and switch with other people, if possible.

Drive only if necessary

  • If driving is necessary keep vehicle gas tank should filled to avoid fuel lines from freezing.
  • Maintain an emergency supply kit, blankets, flashlights, batteries, extra clothing, food, jumper cables, a shovel, a tow-strap and appropriate footwear in your trunk.
  • Make sure that mobile phone is fully charged.
  • Allow for additional travel time.
  • Increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Allow extra time and distance when coming to a stop.
  • If you get stuck in your car, stay in your car. Do not leave your vehicle!
  • Run engine to keep warm.
  • Use caution when shutting down vehicle while stranded. The vehicle might not restart in severely cold weather conditions.

Individuals experiencing or coming across winter safety concerns on campus should notify the university through e-mail at staysafe@niu.edu or at NIU’s StaySafe website.

Updates on the operational status for NIU campus locations, and winter weather advisory and warning information can be found on the NIU Weather Closing Information website.

 

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