Campus risk management director gives winter safety advice

     Winter has finally arrived in Colorado Springs, and with that comes the possibility of inclement weather. Winter storms are inevitable, but proper preparation can lessen the danger they pose to drivers.       

     Director of Campus Risk Management James Duvall discussed how students can stay safe while traveling in inclement weather. 

     For out-of-state students traveling back home in winter weather, Duvall wrote via email, “When flying, be sure to check on your flight even when flying to a warm weather destination, as the incoming flight may have a delay from a colder destination.” 

     For in-state students or anyone traveling to a different part of Colorado, students can keep many resources in a car for safety and protection.  

     “Provide someone with your trip itinerary including time you are leaving, when you plan to arrive and your route. Give your trip some extra days on either end to help plan around poor weather. Pay attention to weather messages and don’t drive into a winter storm. 

     “Be sure to have an ice scraper, jumper cables and a flashlight in your vehicle and that your windshield wiper fluid is full. Be sure your vehicle has proper tires with enough tread. Keep a full tank of gas and do not let your fuel drop below half a tank when possible,” Duvall said. 

Winter driving skills are necessary to live in Colorado. Photo by Lillian Davis.

     He said even in the worst-case scenario of being stranded in a winter storm, there are still many ways to stay safe.   

     “Run the vehicle intermittently to provide warmth but conserve fuel. If you do get stranded, be sure to clear the snow from around the vehicle’s tailpipe to prevent the vehicle from filling with deadly carbon monoxide. A shovel and cat litter can help you dig out and provide traction if the vehicle is stuck.” 

     Duvall recommended keeping snacks, water, extra clothes, shoes and blankets in one’s vehicle during winter travel.  

     “Clyde’s Cupboard is also a food resource for students that may not be able to get to the store to purchase food during inclement weather. Campus Police will provide safety/security escorts across campus throughout the year including during a weather event,” Duvall said. 

     There are special resources available to aid students living on campus during inclement weather. 

     Duvall said, “If the winter weather has created a unique challenge for a student that is impacting their academic success or general wellbeing, they could contact the CARE team to problem solve and see what resources are available by calling 719-255-3091 or emailing [email protected].”