The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning until Thursday at Noon. Due to the inclement weather, Webster has closed its campuses in the St. Louis area.
Webster University will suspend in-person operations on its St. Louis area campuses starting on Wednesday due to the coming inclement weather. The University will switch to remote operations at that time and has instructed students to contact their professors for further information regarding remote classes. Webster students can expect further updates regarding evening classes by noon on Wednesday.
Webster University employees have been instructed to work from home.
The cancellation follows a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service for much of the Midwest, including St. Louis, on Tuesday. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the inclement weather will begin Tuesday and last for a few days. The DHS has encouraged residents to be ready for “everything from snow to icy roads and possible power outages.”
“Preparing for an emergency before it strikes can literally save your life or property,” Andrea Spillars, administrator of the Kansas City Federal Emergency Management Agency office, said in the DHS press release.
To prepare for the coming winter weather, the press release encourages residents to “know what to do.” The DHS created a list to readily assist residents, which includes making a concrete plan for what you will do to personally weather the storm, monitoring local media and weather forecasts, becoming familiar with important weather terms and to check the conditions of roads prior to travel.
“When and where the wintry weather is happening, roads will be bad,” Scott Connell, meteorologist at KSDK 5, said.
The City of St. Louis issued a press release calling for city residents to avoid all unnecessary travel. The press release recommends that drivers make sure they have a full tank of gas and bring a “winter storm kit,” which includes items such as blankets, food, water, flashlights and a cellphone, if travel is “absolutely necessary.”
According to the St. Louis City press release, the city has expanded its 24 hour services to connect unhoused residents with shelter. If you see someone in need, you can call 2-1-1 to be connected to available resources, such as The Warming Bus.. A list of warming centers can also be found by visiting the City of St. Louis Website.
The press release also states that certain individuals – such as those with disabilities, senior citizens or low-income families – may qualify for additional help through the website heatupstlouis.org.
“This storm has the potential to create health risks for you and your family,” director of Health Dr. Matifazda Hlatshwayo Davis said in the St. Louis press release. “If you must be outside, be sure to dress warmly and in layers, take frequent breaks to warm up and check on your neighbors who may need assistance.”
The American Red Cross Association has also released a press release that further advises Missouri residents on preparedness.
The Red Cross encourages residents to know the signs of hypothermia, which are: confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. The press release also advises on watching for frostbite, which may be identified by the symptoms of numbness or waxy feeling skin. Another symptom is flushed gray, white, blue or yellow discoloration.
The Red Cross encourages residents to bring all of their pets indoors during the storm.
Webster University has not issued class cancellations or moved classes to Zoom at this time.