Chill alert! During cold weather, check out these safety tips

With extremely cold temperatures expected during the first week of the spring semester, here are five ways Tigers can stay warm and safe.

Jan. 12, 2024
Photo by Abbie Lankitus

The University of Missouri wants students, faculty and staff to be prepared for inclement weather. Here are five tips for Tigers to stay warm and safe in cold temperatures.

1. Bundle up.

Wear appropriate clothing to stay warm including:

  • A hat, scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth.
  • Sleeves that are snug at the wrist.
  • Mittens (they are warmer than gloves).
  • A water-resistant coat.
  • Water-resistant boots.
2. Layer up.

Dress in multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing to help trap body heat and provide flexibility for adjusting to changing conditions.

  • Inner Layer: Wear fabrics that will hold more body heat and don’t absorb moisture. Wool, silk or polypropylene will hold more body heat than cotton.
  • Insulation Layer: An insulation layer will help you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Natural fibers like wool, goose down or a classic fleece work best.
  • Outer Layer: The outermost layer helps protect you from wind, rain and snow. It should be tightly woven, and preferably be water and wind resistant to reduce the loss of body heat.
3. Avoid frostbite and hypothermia.

Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers and toes.

  • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin.
  • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage affected areas or use a heating pad.

Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.

  • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness
  • Action: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first — chest, neck, head and groin. Keep dry and wrapped in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

In either case, it’s important to see a medical provider as soon as possible.

4. Prepare for ice.
  • Always wear sturdy shoes with good treads to help avoid slipping.
  • Salt the driveway, steps and sidewalks early and often.
  • To avoid tripping while walking your pet, always be aware of the leash and be mindful that your pet could knock you off balance when pulling.
5. Create an emergency kit.

In case of weather-related emergencies, including power outages or being stuck in a car for a long period of time, prepare a cold weather emergency kit for your home and vehicle. Include extra blankets, a coat, a flashlight, non-perishable snacks and a first aid kit. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and you have portable chargers available.

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