As all of us Chicagoans know, winter in the Windy City is like a box full of surprises – you never know what you’re going to get. The weather here can go from sunny and calm to snowy and disastrous in a matter of a day or two. Although a lot
of students live on campus, Dominican has a big commuter population. Getting to school and work during these winter months can be difficult and at times dangerous. It’s important to prepare yourself in advance for any possible storms.
Driving to school and work during times of inclement weather is sometimes necessary. If you’re going to drive during bad weather, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind. It’s important to always keep your gas tank full during the winter, in order to keep fuel lines from freezing. Also, stock your trunk with emergency essentials such as a first aid kit, an extra coat, a blanket and water. That way if you ever get stuck in your car or stranded, you have something to keep you warm while waiting for help. Also, don’t drive without a cell phone and car charger, and keep friends and family informed as to where you’re planning on going. If you lose all sources of communication, there’s still a good chance that someone can come and find you.
Staying informed is the easiest and best way to keep your commute safe. Dominican offers an emergency text message sign-up system, which allows Dominican to send users emergency notifications. Students can access the system through Dominican’s campus safety and security web page. The messages help participants prepare in the case of university emergencies and school closings. They can also be sent to your personal e-mail, Facebook and/or Twitter. School closing information can also be found on the myDU web site and by listening to the AM 720 WGN radio station.
Most importantly, use your best judgment when making decisions on your commute. Ask yourself if it’s absolutely necessary to risk getting into an accident in an effort to get to your destination. While obligations are important, your own personal safety should always come first.
– Katherine Kulpa, Editor in Chief