How to stay safe and warm during the winter

Savannah+Wesley%2FThe+Prairie+News

Savannah Wesley/The Prairie News

Panhandle weather is commonly known for its temperamental and sometimes unpredictable stages so it is important that students be aware of how to plan for colder weather.

Try not to be alone or by yourself. This ensures that you will have someone who knows where you are and can help you just incase something happens. Plus, it’s nice to have someone to lean on in a stressful situation. Check in with loved ones and those close you often for both your peace of mind and theirs. Hand warmers are also incredibly useful and can be made into any size if needed. Simple as having a sock or small pillow case filled with rice and heated up or ones that can be bought on the internet for cheap.

Wear extra layers and warmer clothing such as sweaters, thick jeans and hoodies. Thin, fashionable jackets are unrealistic and do not keep you warm besides it’s more important to be warm than to look cute. Leggings and yoga pants are also not warm enough unless they are the flannel type or worn as a base layer under the rest of your clothes to provide insulation. Wear thick shoes that provide insulation, not thin shoes such as Vans or Converse.  Beanies, gloves and scarves are a must and can be cute and fashionable as well. Remember, wool is your friend and any other natural fibers such as cotton. Try to avoid synthetic fabrics as they do not hold heat well and tend to fall apart quicker than fabrics made from natural materials. 

In the case of a power outage, have extra blankets stocked up just in case the heat cannot be turned on. Keep a case of water and snacks in your dorm and dress warmly. Do not leave your dorm or house if experiencing severe winter weather conditions such as a blizzard. Try not to use your phone too much because who knows when the power will come back on and you’ll be able to get a charge or have a portable charger already juiced up. There are other ways to entertain yourself such as board games, drawing or reading a book. Have a way to check the weather or get reports from emergency broadcast system by either through your phone or a radio if you do not have service. Do not attempt to start a fire in your dorm unless you have a legitimate fireplace for some odd reason.

Check the weather before traveling, even if it seems like a short distance and always keep at least half a tank of gas in your car. Try not to drive after sunset or before sunrise as visibility will be difficult especially if it is snowing. Be careful while driving in snow especially since it doesn’t happen very often in our area. Drive below the speed limit when there is ice on the road and accelerate and decelerate slowly. Allow for more distance to slow down when coming to a stop as it will take longer to come to a stop on icy roads. Don’t drive on bald tires and make sure they are properly inflated and do not use cruise control. With the potential for snow and blizzard conditions, have a bug out bag or go bag prepared in your car. Write down the contact information for your family or people you know where you live. Not everyone has phone numbers memorized so it is important to have that contact information just in case.