As we continue to experience dangerous sub-zero temperatures and wind chills, the importance of being safe just can’t be stressed enough. I’m just as guilty as anyone when it comes to destroying my hair with a hat or leaving extra time to get to my destination, but lately it’s just not wise to not take all necessary precautions.
Just last week their were multiple casualties as we all slid up and down icy hills and stairways. The sliding continues but now we add the possibility of frostbite to exposed skin. According to almanac.com, when the temperature is balmy 0 degrees and the wind speed is a slight 15 mph, the wind chill makes it feel like -19 degrees and frostbite can occur within 10 minutes.
Two local colleges, Edinboro University and Penn State Behrend both chose to cancel classes today. With many students and staff being required to spend more than 10 minutes outdoors commuting, I respect and agree with their decision to cancel.
This topic leads me to question when and if educational institutions will take advantage of the technological age that we live in, when conditions make being outdoors dangerous, for whatever reason. We have the capability to share information and check online attendance. Some local public school districts are investigating the possibility of cyber days.They have to seek state approval for such an option to become reality. Logic leads me to think that private colleges could institute a similar policy without such a process. I think the question is worthy of asking.
The extreme temperatures also lead me to wonder what the future holds as far as what kind of weather conditions we can look forward to and how to prepare to ensure everyone’s safety. I am not an amateur meteorologist nor do I predict the future, but I think that this is another question worthy of some serious consideration.
There are always stories about extreme weather conditions throughout the years and people who will deny that our climate is changing. People are always fascinated or terrified by extreme conditions, but when these things seem to occur more frequently, concern and action seem more appropriate responses.
There were rumors in the media that Niagara Falls had completely frozen over. I watched as Al Roker dispelled that myth. Because of the volume of water, it’s not possible to completely freeze. There are stories of people walking across the falls many years ago. They were able to do so, probably not wisely, due to an ice jam that formed at the top of the falls.
Stay safe, bundle up and ask questions!