Snow Safety

By: Jenna Beresheim
News Editor

As inclement weather approaches, having already affected the first day of school for Western Oregon University, there are some important precautions to keep in mind.

Commuters especially need to take precaution and know their personal limits when it comes to driving in winter weather.

AAA recommends some of the following tips and tricks for driving in snow and ice.

Keeping a vehicle well taken care of is the first measure of prevention, with tires properly inflated and appropriate tires for the season installed, with chains as another option.

Having a tank that is at least always half full will keep the gas line from freezing up, and also allows for drivers to have enough time to travel to another gas station without being left out in the cold on the side of the road.

If the above option is unavailable, keep a half tank of gas in the car in order to fill up in case of emergency. For situations where a vehicle may end up off the road, pack cat litter or sand in the car to provide traction for the wheels in icy conditions.

When driving, make sure to stray away from the use of cruise control, and accelerate and decelerate slowly on slick surfaces. Give enough time to stop at a turn, or enough space to stop behind another car in case the vehicle does not gain traction right away for a clean stop.

Always leave lights on for better visibility, even in the daytime hours, and give other drivers plenty of room on the road to account for any human error that may occur.

In worst case scenarios, always be prepared. A kit in the back of the vehicle could contain some of these items: a blanket, heat packs, extra water and food, and another way to contact those in case of emergency. Never leave the vehicle in these instances, as it provides temporary shelter and allows for easier discovery by rescue teams.

On campus, faring against the chill is easier but implements the same idea of traveling slowly.
While de-icer is applied to most campus sidewalks and heavier areas of traffic, areas may still be slick and dangerous if not approached with caution, and areas outside of campus may not have been attended to yet.

Buildings on campus, such as the modules, may also vary in temperature compared to their clustered counterparts on the main street.

For those who may not have the means to purchase warmer clothes, the WOU Food Pantry offers free clothes donations outside of their location.

“If you find yourself a little cold or in need of clothes stop by the food pantry. We have winter clothes located outside the pantry for easy access even if the pantry isn’t open. Clothes donations are coming in regularly so don’t hesitate to come pick some up!” states a post on the WOU Food Pantry Facebook group in November.

Some of the donated items include scarves, jackets, sweaters, hats, gloves, and socks.

The Western Oregon Food Pantry is located on the first floor of the Academic Programs Support Center (APSC) building, and the hours change on a weekly basis for the actual food pantry itself.

The Food Pantry is always accepting food and clothes donations from other students who have no use for them.

To keep tabs on the Food Pantry and see the latest contents, follow their Facebook page “Western Oregon University Food Pantry” or drop by in person.

Students interested in staying informed of campus closures are encouraged to check the WOU website frequently or pay attention to local news stations covering the weather’s impact on the local area.