Staff Editorial: Staying safe in snow

After weeks of nasty winter weather with no end in sight, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself and plan ahead in order to stay healthy and safe for the remainder of the winter season. Students living off campus should make sure to clear their sidewalks. When sidewalks are not cleared and the snow is above the knee many students will opt to walk in the street. Walking in the street can be incredibly dangerous when traction is poor and drivers cannot see around snow piles.

If your car is parked on the street, make sure you shovel it out promptly after snowfall. Any cars considered “snowbound” could receive 50 dollar tickets each day they are left with snow on them, doubling in cost after two weeks. In addition to cleaning off your windows, make sure you clean off your license plate, head and taillights, and clear your exhaust pipe of snow before driving. Be sure to keep a shovel, ice scraper, and snowbrush in your car when traveling in hazardous conditions. It is also a good idea to have either kitty litter or bags of sand in your car, just in case you lose traction while driving.

Plan ahead and dress appropriately for the weather conditions. If you will be spending extended periods of time outdoors, make sure your extremities and face are properly covered. Also, if your feet get wet while walking in snow and slush, dry them as soon as possible. Wear layers—you can always take them off if you get too hot when you’re indoors.

Finally, don’t neglect your health during the colder months. Many people experience depression during the colder months which has been linked to vitamin D deficiency. Eating well, working out, and spending some time outdoors can improve your health and help combat seasonal affective disorder.