Written by: Billie Clark
Well, clearly, it is still winter. I am so tired of freezing rain—and just last night I was caught in a veritable blizzard!
Since we’re a commuter school here at TrentU Durham, it’s important that you are thinking of your safety. After all, unless you’ve somehow found yourself a hiding place on the stage, you aren’t sleeping on campus (or, at least, not overnight). Not even I have a bed here, no matter how often I joke about living at school.
So here are some steps to take to keep you safe as winter continues:
1. Keep a phone charger in your vehicle
I know it sounds pretty obvious, but you don’t want your phone to die when you’re driving. If you end up stranded, you want to be able to phone your parents, CAA, the police—someone who can help you. Make sure you’ve got an adapter-plugin and a chord, because one is pretty useless without the other.
2. Have a spare set of gloves, a hat, a scarf, a jacket, and a blanket
Those people who have three days’ worth of laundry in their cars are almost on the right track! You want to have a hat, glove, jacket, blanket, and else you need to keep warm set aside inside your car. Keep it in a bag, and out of the trunk. If you end up stuck, or waiting out a white-out, you don’t want to kill your battery running your heater, and you don’t want to walk to your trunk while on the side of the road in low visibility, either. Besides, if you’re anything like me, you have too much winter gear, so it will help you move things around!
3. Keep some non-perishable snacks in your glove box
Granola bars, rice crispy squares, fruit cups—whatever you can keep in your car that won’t spoil from the cold (or the warmth) and that will tide you over if you end up stuck in the snow for 2+ hours, waiting for a tow truck or a blizzard to pass. Plus, you’ll always have a snack ready for you.
4. Make Up a “Just in Case” Kit
These are the things you should make sure you have, for sure, if you are doing long commutes in the winter:
– Jumper cables
– Window scraper
– Heavy duty flashlight
If you can, maybe have some motor oil, too. If you’ve got a crummy blanket you want to store with these things, stick it right in there! This is the stuff you can stick in your trunk, to be pulled out and used, just in case.
So, there are some things to think about, especially when commuting to class. But don’t forget: if you are ever worried that the drive is too dangerous, STAY HOME. Email your prof, do your readings, but don’t risk your life for a three-hour class about Marxism.