Saint Louis University

Winter Storms

Saint Louis University Snow Line:
(314) 977-SNOW or (314) 977-7669

For information about school closings or late starts due to snow or ice; information will also be shown on the local news stations.

If you are outdoors in a winter storm:

  • Wear several layers of loose fitting, light weight warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • Avoid over exertion when shoveling snow. Over exertion can bring on a heart attack -- a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
  • Try not to speak unless absolutely necessary.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value. 
  • Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.

If symptoms of hypothermia are detected:

  • Get the victim to a warm location
  • Remove wet clothing
  • Put the person in dry clothing and wrap their entire body in a blanket
  • Warm the center of the body first
  • Give warm, non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages if the victim is conscious
  • Get medical help as soon as possible by calling 9 -1 -1 or the Department of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness at (314) 977-3000. 

If you are driving during a winter storm:

  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary.
  • Travel in the day, don't travel alone, and keep others informed of your schedule.
  • Have your cell phone fully charged before leaving and carry a phone charger with you.
  • Stay on main roads; avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Try to follow snow routes.
  • Carry an emergency road kit, including a blanket, a flashlight, non-perishable food items and water.

Before driving during winter storms and extreme cold: Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing. Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. - ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
  • Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
  • Thermostat - ensure it works properly.
  • Tires - install good winter tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
  • Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.


  • A shovel
  • Windshield scraper and small broom
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered radio (with extra batteries)
  • Water and snack food
  • Matches
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens
  • First aid kit
  • Pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • Blanket(s)
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Booster cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
  • Sand to improve traction

Modified from FEMA information

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