Where’s the snow? Don’t worry — it will be back

Guest post by IU student Marina Allen, special projects intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

While many of us deeply hoped for a snow-filled holiday, Old Man Winter had selective hearing until just this past weekend. The powdery goodness that covered our campuses was enjoyable to admire through a window next to a roaring fireplace, but most students will agree with me when I say it seemed to lose its angelic quality after having to trudge in it for just a few minutes.

IU student Marina Allen

IU student Marina Allen

But, whether you like it or not, you must brave the icy conditions — and they will be back — in order to get to that organic chemistry lab you so anxiously signed up to take! 😉 Professors and their in-lecture notes don’t wait for the snow to stop falling, so it’s up to us to find a way to get there. Luckily, I have just what you need!

While we can’t make the snow disappear, we do have the power to make it a little more endurable! In order to get from Point A to Point B on foot, a few helpful tips for your journey across the frozen tundra this term are listed below.

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes (and every other part of your body, too)

Mom knew best when she used to roll you up like a burrito in an assortment of sweaters, scarves and pants. In order to stay as warm as possible, one can never layer enough! While I may not wear five sweatshirts like I did as a kid, I always make sure I wear a long-sleeved shirt of some kind under a well-insulated coat (not jacket!). Besides the basics, other tricks include double layering your socks and your gloves. While closed-toed snow boots do most of the work, it’s never a bad thing to have a little extra padding.

And, it wouldn’t hurt to throw an extra pair of any small articles in your backpack, such as gloves, hats or scarves. These additional items can become extremely helpful if anything becomes wet from the snow, or can be provided to a pal who forgot theirs at home. Your frozen fingers will thank you, and so will your friend!

Hand warmers, hand warmers, hand warmers

Why didn’t I think of this sooner? These are such lifesavers in cold conditions, so stocking up and using them for in-between class commutes could make all the difference. There are many times that I have walked to and from class and wished I had something like these to use. All it takes is one time of activating those puppies to realize how much you’ve been lacking!

Available at most local grocery stores and pharmacies, hand warmers are an affordable way to ensure you stay as comfortable and warm as possible. They usually radiate heat for a fairly long period of time, so a day full of walking shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, they make them for feet, too!

Preparation is key

Showing up for a test without studying is a bad idea, right? The same can be said when heading out on a wintery afternoon without looking up weather conditions, which is why it is always a good idea to look up the daily weather forecast!

  • If you use Twitter, you can receive weather alerts for your campus. Find the account on Protect IU.
  • Each county in the state of Indiana has its own emergency management agency that often posts weather alerts and warnings for their individual areas. This could be useful in understanding what the conditions are going to be like for the day on campus, rather than just an unspecific overview. The Travel Advisory app, available on the Google Play Store and iPhone App Store, lets you see on your phone the same county travel advisories provided by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
  • Commuters may also want to check out the Indiana Department of Transportation’s TrafficWise website. This website provides real-time traffic data and live footage of major highways around the state, making motorists everywhere more informed of what they might face during their drive.

While this is not an all-encompassing list of every way one can winter-fy oneself, it’s a solid foundation that is sure to help you during these snowy months. Most of these tricks appear obvious, but are often overlooked and yearned for later when we realize we don’t have them. Reference these hints all winter long, and your Spring 2016 semester will surely be off to a warm, toasty start!

Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.

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