Winter Weather Preparedness

Winter in Nebraska typically brings several bouts with large amounts of snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds, ice or sleet that can limit travel and cause power outages, sometimes for days at a time.

Prepare For Winter Weather

Prepare your car for winter:

  • Store blankets to keep you warm in case you're stranded on the roads.
  • Keep your gas tank full.
  • Consider carrying a small shovel and kitty litter for traction to help free your car if stuck.
  • Other items to have along: Ice scraper, flashlight, coat, hat, gloves, cell phone and car charger.

Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify winter weather:

  • Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
  • Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
  • Blizzard Warning means heavy snow and strong winds will produce a blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts and life-threatening wind chill.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning means below freezing temperatures are expected.

Make A Plan

  • Plan to stay inside and make it on your own, at least for a period of time.
  • Have some food on hand in your room in case the residence halls are unable to provide food service.
  • Know of both a cell and land line phone you can use to call home if service is affected in one or the other.

Stay Informed

During winter weather season, notices concerning UNL's operation will appear on the home page as well as on this emergency site. UNL Alerts will be sent to announce closings, be sure to register for text messages to receive this information.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed of winter weather watches and warnings.

Also monitor commercial radio, television and the Internet. For a full description of what to listen for, and an explanation of different weather terms, refer to the NWS guide.

Keep in mind that during a severe winter storm it could be hours, or even days, before emergency personnel are able to reach you.