Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Emerald City ‘Taking Winter by Storm’

    Brace yourselves: Winter is coming.

    Earlier this month, the Puget Sound area began its annual “Take the Winter by Storm” campaign to get all local residents to start their preparations so that they can handle snow storms, power outages, flooding and any other situation that may arise this winter. The campaign began as a response to a winter storm back in 2006, which led to power outages for over 1.5 million people. Many residents were unaware of how to deal with the situation and over 300 people were affected by carbon monoxide poisoning by trying to keep warm with grills or gasoline-powered generators inside the house.

    Whether or not Seattle receives snow this year, it is time for people to start preparing for winter weather of all kinds, including the Seattle University community.

    In case of emergency, the campus has emphasized that students should have extra food and water available in their residences, whether they are on or off campus. On campus students received earthquake kits at the beginning of the year with small snacks and water.

    Students should also be prepared in the event of a power outage by keeping a flashlight on hand. Candles are prohibited in the residence halls and should be avoided. However, the most important tip for students is to keep warm.

    “What really gets you cold is getting wet,” said Tim Marron, Executive Director of Public Safety and Transportation. “Make sure to have winter clothing, boots and take an umbrella with you.”
    Outside of the residence halls, Public Safety and Facilities will be working to make sure the campus is ready for winter. Officers on patrol will keep track of the conditions on campus and, if it gets icy, facilities on call will come to salt the area and work on clearing any snow or ice. In the event of a snow storm, major routes on campus will be cleared and students will be notified via email or the Seattle U website if classes are cancelled.

    Students living in residence halls will have a community of support through the winter, but students who live off campus in their own houses for the first time will have a new challenge to face in the coming months.

    “There are a lot of things about living off campus that I haven’t really learned, and it also doesn’t really get that cold back in California,” said junior Cassie Cottrell. “This is my first time living off campus, so I’m a little nervous.”

    Students living in off-campus homes will want to take extra precautions to make sure their houses are ready in the event of a winter storm.

    “Our house is very old and was built in 1905 so it has a lot of cracks in the window frames and door frames and doesn’t have much insulation,” said junior Matilda Schroeter. “What we are going to do is put plastic wrap around the windows to keep the heat in and probably put weather strips under the doors to make it airtight. We are also going to have lots of blankets available to wrap up in.”

    Keeping warm is one of the biggest issues for students off campus as some houses do not come equipped with heaters and those that do come with an extra utility cost for its use.

    “Our house has a heating system, but you have to pay for it so if it was my choice I wouldn’t use it,” said junior Sam Wolff. “I’m just naturally resilient to the conditions, but I’m sure my roommates will try to turn the heat up.”

    Several students said that they would be investing in more jackets and blankets to stay warm. Some students have also equipped their homes with carbon monoxide alarms in case warming the house with gas powered appliances such as an oven or stove becomes a danger.

    While going off campus or stepping outside the house, there are other winter dangers that students will want to prepare for.

    “With the winter months, it is darker longer,” Marron said. “Plan ahead if you are going to go out at night, how you are going to get there and how you are going to get home.”

    Marron also stressed the importance of staying aware of one’s surroundings during the winter to be aware of cars and bicycles whose drivers may not be used to snowy or icy conditions.
    With increased awareness and extra preparation, the community can have a safer winter season.

    Harrison may be reached at [email protected]

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