University Health Service

Cold snap!

Severe cold weather, especially combined with wind, can cause:

  • Frostbite -  This occurs when tissues freeze. It usually affects exposed skin, plus fingers, toes, nose and ears. See more on frostbite from the CDC.
  • Hypothermia - This is a dangerous cooling of the body core temperature that requires emergency medical assistance. See more on hypothermia from the CDC.

In extremely cold weather,  the best approach is to minimize exposure to cold. Stay indoors when possible. 

If you have to go outdoors during a cold snap, dress warmly and cover exposed skin. Be sure to keep your fingers, toes, nose and ears covered and warm to prevent frostbite. This is not the time to wear shorts or flip-flops outside! Loose layers of clothing can help trap warm air to keep you insulated from the cold. And by wearing layers, you can keep warm outdoors then remove outer layers when you get back inside. 

Going out at night?  It's best to stick with friends and use the buddy system. Walk together or get a ride. Check out the U-M After-Hours Transit Services.

If you plan to drink, Stay in the Blue so you can keep sharp and make the best decisions for yourself and friends. 

See also: