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Cold, snow, ice, wind ... what next?

Tips and advice for surviving an OHIO winter


With the recent arrival of winter weather to Ohio University’s campus, it is important for staff and students to know how to stay safe during potentially dangerous snow and ice conditions.

Cold Weather Safety
Joe Adams, associate vice president of Risk Management and Safety, has the following advice for Ohio University students and staff during cold weather conditions on campus.

  • Dress in layers—one layer extra for each 10 degrees below freezing (32 degrees F). Try to cover all exposed skin, face, hands, legs and especially the head. Half of body heat loss is through the head.
  • To help prevent slips and falls, walk slowly and carefully. Wear good shoes with heavy treads instead of athletic shoes or shoes with smooth soles.
  • Leave early: It will take 30 percent to 50 percent more time to get safely to your destination
  • Watch out at intersections or when crossing streets. Vehicles may slide through intersections or not be able to stop for you.
  • Use extra caution on steps, as they will be slippery when icy or wet.
  • Strenuous outdoor activities can lead to early dehydration.

Campus Closing Policy

Only President Roderick McDavis or his designee has the authority to officially close the University. However, if Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly declares a level three emergency, the Athens Campus will close. Level three for wintery conditions means that all roadways are closed to nonemergency personnel and no one should be out unless absolutely necessary. Additionally, employees must contact employers to see if they must travel to work; those traveling on roadways may be subject to arrest due to the severe nature of road conditions.

In the event of a campus closing, the closing and reopening times will be announced through all media sources, including through campus e-mail and the campus emergency notification system. Emerging closings also will be posted on the University homepage.

For information and updates during a weather emergency, students and staff can call (740) 593-1000 or (740) 597-1800 or check the university’s Emergency Information page.

Expert Advice

Many national organizations publish tips for winter safety. Try some of these:

The Weather Channel Winter Driving Safety

AAA Winter Driving and Car Care Tips

American Red Cross Winter Emergency Preparation

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Extreme Cold Disaster Preparation