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News Release

Nov. 6, 2023

Northwest reminds community to prepare for winter weather

As the Northwest Missouri State University community begins pulling out their coats, the University Police Department, in conjunction with the National Weather Service and state agencies, is reminding people to be prepared during Missouri Winter Weather Awareness Week Nov. 6-10.

In addition to sharing winter weather safety messaging via social media throughout the week, emergency management organizations in Missouri ask people to review hazards and safety rules in preparation for the upcoming winter season. At Northwest, University Police will host Cocoa with the Popo, a safe driving and weather preparedness event, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the J.W. Jones Student Union.

“Prepare yourself for the severe winter weather in northwest Missouri with a predetermined plan of action, including gathering resources before the forecast changes to decreased temperatures and disruptive precipitation,” University Police Lt. Amanda Cullin, who coordinates Northwest’s emergency management operations, said.

Northwest communicates campus closures to students and employees through its Bearcat Alert text messaging and email systems as well as official University social media accounts and the University website. When the campus remains open during inclement weather, Northwest students and employees are asked to exercise their own judgment to decide whether they can travel safely to campus.

Northwest provides winter weather safety tips below. For more information related to dealing with winter weather, contact the University Police Department at, or visit the National Weather Service online at or the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency at

Winter weather preparedness tips

  • Create an emergency plan and emergency kit. Emergency supplies should include bottled water, canned and dry foods, battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, manual can opener and a first-aid kit. When power outages are possible, charge cell phones and other devices in advance so you are able to communicate if power is lost.
  • Assemble a vehicle winter emergency kit. Include a blanket, radio with spare batteries, snacks and energy bars, jumper cables, flares, a shovel and sand or shingles for tire traction.
  • Avoid driving when conditions could deteriorate. Postpone travel if possible. If driving is absolutely necessary, keep your gas tank more than half full and your cell phone charged. Save emergency numbers for fast dialing. Check road conditions in advance on the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Traveler Map at Allow extra time, expect delays, reduce speed and increase your following distance. If your vehicle breaks down or slides off the road, stay in the vehicle and call for help.
  • Make sure alternate heat and power sources such as fireplaces, wood stoves, kerosene heaters and generators function properly. These sources can be dangerous and must be regularly maintained and operated. Keep the correct fuel for each source on hand in a safe location. Proper ventilation is essential. Properly install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Only operate generators outdoors.
  • Remember space heaters are potentially deadly when misused. Space heaters account for approximately one-third of home heating fires and 80 percent of home heating fire deaths. Supplemental heating sources like these should be turned off when leaving a room or going to bed. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from heating equipment.

For more winter weather preparedness tips, including safe driving techniques and avoiding injury while shoveling, visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215