Winter season: Precautions and preparations

As the holiday season starts to arrive, there are endless tips suggested for a fun and safe holiday season. They range from home care to self-care, and can help keep Katies healthy and out of danger.

Whether taking up residency in a home, dorm or apartment, follow these steps to prepare for hazardous snowstorms or icy temperatures. Winterize dwellings: Use weather stripping, insulation or storm windows in extreme cases to keep out the cold. Make sure to clean out gutters, and repair any leaks on the roof or other exterior surfaces to prevent cold air and weather storms from sneaking in. Remember to check the heating system before the cold starts to arrive. This way, there won’t be any ‘surprises’ when the heat needs to be turned on.

Public transportation is a sufficient way of travel during snowy days, but owning a car is convenient too. Preparations are easy to make on vehicles. Kate Becker ’18 shares an example of when she wished she had properly prepared her car for the winter.

“I was walking to my car one evening after a basketball game at school, and when I tried to start it, the ignition wouldn’t give in. I ended up waiting in a freezing cold car for nearly an hour until my dad was able to come and save me. My school was closed for the evening, so I couldn’t hide out in there, and the only place left was my car,” Becker said. “I wish I had filled up my gas tank when I saw my “low fuel” sign come on, and I really wish I had a blanket or two packed in the back in case something like this happened. I learned from that mistake, that’s for sure.”

Becker’s story brings up another good tip: preparing a winter emergency kit to leave in the car. Include a blanket or two , along with food and water. It is also smart to put in booster cables, a tire pump and flares just in case something goes wrong during the evening. Ever finding a time you can’t get around campus, or there is an issue with a car, don’t hesitate to call public safety. They can offer a lot of help, and can get you to where you need to be on campus during an emergency or if you’re unable.

Turning towards personal health, it is always smart to wear appropriate clothing, such as hats, scarves and winter boots. There’s nothing worse than walking with cold feet in a few feet of snow. Make sure to have a stash of tissues, cough drops and other cold-flu like medicines in case some illness is spreading around friends, colleagues and even peers. Like any health professional would advise, wash your hands and avoid contact with anyone suffering from a cold or other illness! That way Katies can limit the spread of sickness around campus. Olivia Setterberg ’18 is headed towards a nursing degree and has plenty of advice to offer.

“There is nothing more important than washing your hands, and drinking plenty of water during winter. Stay hydrated and healthy so you don’t need to worry as much about catching a cold. There is nothing more miserable than being sick while friends and family are out enjoying the season. Stay safe,” Setterberg said.

The holiday season is a time spent with friends, family and loved ones, where eating is a priority, and enjoying a fire with hot cocoa is quite common. Although the holidays are joyous and exciting, hazardous weather conditions and serious illnesses can come about if the right precautions are not taken. So bundle up and check your surroundings for safety precautions.

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