Taking precautions during cold weather

Students, faculty and staff,

The National Weather Service is forecasting extremely cold weather for the coming days, with temperatures staying below freezing and often below zero degrees. With this in mind, please plan accordingly and take precautions when coming to and from campus.

Below are a few tips to help you stay safe in the days ahead. For more in-depth information about cold weather preparedness, both the National Weather Service and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are excellent resources.

Dress appropriately

Wear long underwear under clothes and have three layers on your upper body. When you are outside, wear an appropriate combination of insulated gloves, boots, a hat and a face covering.

Avoid being outside for extended periods

In cold weather, frostbite and hypothermia are a real risk if you aren’t dressed appropriately. If you are outside and notice signs of first-degree frostbite, move inside and start to warm yourself with warm (not hot) water or body heat. If you are experiencing symptoms of hypothermia, seek medical attention immediately.

Plan your travel

Keep the gas tank in your vehicle at least half full to prevent the gas line from freezing, and make sure your tires are properly inflated. Keep jumper cables, a blanket, a phone charger and an ice scraper in your vehicle.

If you have reliable transportation but know of friends or colleagues who don’t, consider offering them a ride.

Our city and university buses are a convenient – and warm! – option for traveling to and from campus. In fact, buses can often get you closer to your destination than your designated parking lot. Visit KU on Wheels and Lawrence Transit for bus schedules and additional information.

Take care of your body

Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they constrict blood vessels, which limits circulation. Additionally, if your judgment is impaired by alcohol, you run the risk of not realizing you are exposing yourself to dangerous temperatures.

Stay aware

Monitor forecasts through local news outlets or weather apps.

KU uses various tools to keep you informed about campus operations in the event of inclement weather. Tools include text messaging, e-mail, the @UnivOfKansas handle on X (formerly known as Twitter), and the alerts.ku.edu webpage. 

Students are automatically subscribed to emergency text messages and can view/edit their cell phone number at Enroll and Pay.  Employees can subscribe to receive text messages and view/edit their cell number through the Employee Emergency Notification app at the myKU Portal.

Stay safe, Jayhawks! We look forward to seeing you on campus for the start of the spring semester.