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ISU Shares Winter Weather Advice and Resources amid extreme weather

Written by on January 23, 2024

Photo provided by Director Eric Hodges

NORMAL, Ill. – On Monday, Jan. 15, 2023, Illinois State University sent a university-wide message, alerting the close of the university and its operations for the following day due to predicted wind chills. The following week on Jan. 22, ISU closed campus and all operations once again beginning at noon that day due to icy conditions, later stating that campus would reopen at noon the following day.

In the messages from the university about extreme weather, tips for protecting yourself, vehicle, living space and school facilities during the cold were provided.

Director of Emergency Management Eric Hodges expanded on these recommendations. Hodges emphasized the number of resources students and staff have access to at Illinois State University. He explained the Dean of Students can assist students who do not own clothing suitable for cold weather.

“We want to make sure there is never a time when a student who feels they do not have the appropriate clothing goes without it,” he said. “We can get it for them.”

Hodges also mentioned all heat used by the university is produced on campus and that the facility is covered by a generator. He added that a team is constantly monitoring the weather conditions and posting notices, along with winter weather preparedness content to the Safe Redbird social media accounts.

He continued to say specific cold weather issues call for different services. Housing would attend to students if their dorm window will not shut. The Office of Parking and Transportation, however, will service cars on campus with a free jump start if cold depletes their battery.

“If you’re going to go out, I really recommend three things: Make sure your cellphone is fully charged, make sure you have some water with you, and dress in layers,” he advised. “The reason for all of that is if you get stuck.

His final piece of advice is to not crack the windows during extreme cold temperatures.

Hodges explained, “The cold can come in, and if there is a water pipe anywhere near that window, it will freeze. At some point, it is going to break. Then, there will be a flood, and if it is really cold, that flood turns into ice inside.”