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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Jan. 5, 2014

Students, employees urged to take precautions in extreme cold

With extreme cold temperatures forecasted this week, Northwest Missouri State University reminds its students and employees to take precautions.

According to the National Weather Service, Nodaway County is under a wind chill warning until 6 p.m. Monday, and a second surge of arctic air will impact the region through Tuesday. Life-threatening wind chills between 30 and 40 degrees below zero are expected through Monday morning.

The wind chill warning means the combination of cold air and strong winds will create dangerously low wind chill values. As the speed of the wind increases, it can carry heat away from your body much more quickly, causing skin temperature to drop. Exposure to dangerous wind chills could result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia or even death if individuals do not take precautions.

The Northwest campus and all University offices will open as normal Monday. Students are currently on winter break, and classes are scheduled to resume Monday, Jan. 13.

As with any emergency at Northwest, the University encourages students and employees to monitor the Northwest homepage, University email accounts, the University calendar and official Northwest social media for announcements regarding campus developments related to the weather.


Take precautions

Winter weather and cold temperatures are nothing to take lightly, and these precautions will help ensure your safety.










Avoid frostbite and hypothermia

When exposed to cold temperatures, the body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold eventually use up the body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making a person unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.

Hypothermia: Normal body temperature averages 98.6 degrees. With hypothermia, core temperature drops below 95 degrees. In severe hypothermia, core body temperature drops to 86 degrees or lower. During exposure to cold temperatures, most heat loss – up to 90 percent – escapes through the skin. Heat loss through the skin happens primarily through radiation and speeds up when skin is exposed to wind or moisture. If cold exposure is due to being immersed in cold water, the movement of waves and water can increase heat loss up to 50 percent.

Frostbite: Frostbite occurs when the skin and body tissue just underneath it freezes. It causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects small, exposed areas of your body, like the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.

Symptoms include a tingly, painful or itchy sensation; a cold or burning sensation; or numbness. The skin can turn red, white or grayish yellow. In severe cases, skin might blister.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468