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Bitter cold temperatures reach Dayton area

Soham Parikh

Soham Parikh

Sarah Cavender, News Writer

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Over winter break, many areas of Ohio felt the drastically cold temperatures. In the Dayton area, temperatures dropped into the negative digits with wind chills making it colder.

Wright State sent out several campus wide emails regarding the wind chill advisory.

There is a process that goes into effect when considering cancelling or delaying operations for the university, according to Curtis Liska, Emergency Management Director and Compliance for University Police.

“There is a multi-phase winter weather procedure that is used to decide to delay or close campus.  For extremely cold temperatures, the university relies on the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Wind Chill Chart to decide whether or not to delay or close,” said Liska.

The NOAA studies climate, weather, oceans and coasts. The university relies on The National Weather Service of Wilmington for weather forecasts.

In times where the temperature and wind chill range could pose a risk of frostbite after 30 minutes, there is a consolation conference call between departments on campus.

“A similar decision-making process is also used for winter storms.” Liska said. “In addition to consulting the NWS weather forecasts when making a decision, the university will analyze temperature, wind velocity, sleet/ice accumulation, Green County Snow Emergency Level status, local, interstate road conditions, number of accidents being reported, etc.”

Over winter break, there were no cancelled student activities according to Emily Sherrets, graduate assistant for Outdoor Resource Center. “However, if we were to have such cold weather during an outdoor trip, we would most likely have to cancel,” Sherrets said.

Facilities management and services took precautions over the break to prevent the cold weather affecting the university. There was a campus-wide email of vestibule doors being propped open to prevent freezing of the building fire suppression systems.

The university police website recommends checking the battery-powered equipment such as a radio, lights, etc. and making sure there is food stocked along with first aid kit, medication and other supplies to be prepared for winter weather.

If outdoors for long periods of time, the website states that you should cover your mouth to protect lungs, keep dry, watch for signs of frostbit and hypothermia.

For a full list of what to be prepared for in winter weather, visit the police website listed under emergency preparedness.

The university also will post to Wright State Alert! In the event of an emergency. Students can also contact 937-775-3500 to find out if there is a delay or closing or visit the university homepage.

 

UPDATE Monday, Jan. 15

According to Sarah Barrett, manager of energy conservation & utilities, “during extreme cold temperatures FMS will take some precautionary steps to protect the buildings from freezing. Opening the vestibule doors happens to be one of the very last precautions FMS will utilize on days with extreme cold weather.”

The FMS is the Facilities Management Services team for WSU.

Additional precautions are also used such as, all heating units are set to run 24/7, night set back is not utilized, according to Barrett.

“This precaution helps to protect the water coils in the mechanical equipment from rupturing as well as all of the plumbing throughout the building,” Barrett said.

All precautions for extreme cold weather, require the FMS to consistently monitor the weather conditions outside for any changes.

“All year long, equipment is constantly monitored and alarmed, through our building automation system. In cold weather the system has alarms and safeties to catch any units that go off, to prevent damage to the equipment and buildings,” Barrett said. “These units can promptly get maintenance to keep any impact to the buildings and occupants as minimal as possible. FMS utilizes scheduled and proactive maintenance on equipment to keep units operational, this minimizes issues that will occur in extreme weather.”

Barrett also stated that there were no pipe bursts due to the extreme cold.

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Wright State University
Bitter cold temperatures reach Dayton area