This Week in School and Campus Safety

Good morning,

This Weekly Update by the Illinois School and Campus Safety Program discusses Winter weather concerns for institutions of higher education and provides Winter weather preparedness resources for both K-12 and Higher Ed.

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Laura Black
Program Coordinator
Illinois School and Campus Safety Program
Winter Weather Concerns for Institutions of Higher Education

Last week, while part of the state was blanketed by snow, we discussed K-12 Winter Weather Preparedness concerns. While institutions of higher education share some of the same concerns as their K-12 counterparts, there are additional concerns to take into account. For example, while not having to worry as much about bussing students to campus, college campuses can have miles of walkways to attend to. 

Institutions of higher education may also face a larger, more ethnically diverse student population that may not be familiar with the weather in the area. And, in moving away from home, there is always the possibility students forget to pack appropriate seasonal clothing and may lack the funding to buy new attire.

Additional concerns arise when considering residence halls. Even if colleges and universities close due to inclement weather, plans still must be made to ensure the safety of those living on campus. For example, what plans are in place if severe weather creates a power outage and neither electricians nor the utility company can respond? And, although many students keep food in their rooms, do they have enough to tide them over should they be campus bound? Are resources readily accessible, even in severe weather, if they don’t have enough supplies? In addition to those living on campus, what about commuters who get trapped there?
As noted last week, t he Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s (IEMA) website has several resources and tips for winter weather preparedness, including IEMA’s Winter Storm Preparedness Guide . The 10-page guide includes statistical information on winter weather in Illinois; winter weather terms used by the National Weather Service; lists for creating emergency supply kits; information for schools, travelers, and farmers; and more. 
Winter Weather Preparedness Resources for K-12 and Higher Ed

According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, "2019 has been a record-breaking year in Illinois. The new year brought a Polar Vortex that crippled most of the Midwest, including blanketing Illinois with life-threatening temperatures for several days" and "the coldest temperature on record occurred this year (January 31) when the mercury dropped to negative 38 degrees near Mt. Carroll in Carroll County." Given the potential life-threatening conditions that come with winter weather, it is important that K-12 schools and institutions of higher education prepare themselves and their students. Here is a list of resources, including a social media toolkit, to help stay safe this winter.

  1. Snowstorms & Extreme Cold
  2. Winter Weather Safety Social Media Toolkit
  3. Prepare Your Organization for a Winter Storm - Playbook
  4. Winter Storms
  5. Weathering Winter
  6. Winter Storm Safety
  7. Winter Storm Safety Checklist
  8. General Winter Safety for Schools
Upcoming Classes
K-12 Classes

Student Behavioral Threat Assessment
November 14, 2019 - Hillside (Full)
November 25, 2019 - Joliet (Full)
December 6, 2019 - Chicago Heights (Full)
December 9, 2019 - Joliet (Full)

Advanced Student Behavioral Threat Assessment
Higher Ed Classes

Advanced Campus Behavioral Threat Assessment
TBA - Chicago

For more information on these and other upcoming classes, contact Laura Black at or at 309-298-2646.
Illinois School and Campus Safety Program