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Taking precautions during cold weather

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The National Weather Service continues to forecast extremely cold weather this week, with temperatures staying below freezing and overnight lows dipping below zero degrees. With this in mind, please plan accordingly and take precautions when coming to and from campus.

Here are a few helpful tips to help you stay safe in the days ahead:

Dress appropriately

Wear long underwear under clothes and have three layers on your upper body. When you are outside, wear an appropriate combination of insulated gloves, boots, a hat and a face covering.

Avoid being outside for extended periods

In cold weather, frostbite and hypothermia are a real risk if you aren’t dressed appropriately. If you are outside and notice signs of first-degree frostbite, move inside and start to warm yourself with warm (not hot) water or body heat. If you are experiencing symptoms of hypothermia, seek medical attention immediately.

Plan your travel

Keep the gas tank in your vehicle at least half full to prevent the gas line from freezing, and make sure your tires are properly inflated. Keep jumper cables, a blanket, a phone charger and an ice scraper in your vehicle.

If you have reliable transportation but know of friends or colleagues who don’t, consider offering them a ride.

Our city and university buses are a convenient – and warm! – option for traveling to and from campus. In fact, buses can often get you closer to your destination than your designated parking lot. Visit KU on Wheels for bus schedules and additional information.

Take care of your body

Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they constrict blood vessels, which limits circulation. Additionally, if your judgment is impaired by alcohol, you run the risk of not realizing you are exposing yourself to dangerous temperatures.

Stay aware

Monitor forecasts through local news outlets or weather apps.

KU utilizes a range of tools to keep you informed about campus operations in the event of inclement weather. Tools include text messaging, e-mail, the @UnivOfKansas handle on Twitter, and the alerts.ku.edu webpage.

Students are automatically subscribed to emergency text messages and can view/edit their cell phone number at Enroll and Pay.  Employees can subscribe to receive text messages and view/edit their cell number through the Employee Emergency Notification app at the myKU Portal.

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