The lingering warmth of the fall season here in Reno seems to have said its final goodbye. As the cold settles in, it’s only a matter of time until the first snowfall, signifying the official start of the winter season in the Biggest Little City.

Winter weather can cause a lot of extra stress for students, especially those that may have grown up in warmer climates. When the snow is falling as fast as the temperature it’s tempting to just skip class and stay at home warm in bed. Well, the Sagebrush is here to help you keep your grades and spirits high this season with News You Can Use: a guide to surviving the winter weather.

Motorist Assistance

While it’s usually best to minimize travel time during the worst winter storms, for students that live off campus and commute to school there isn’t much of a choice. The danger of car trouble rises in the winter months. The Federal Highway Association states that every year, nearly 900 people are killed and nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet. More common roadsemergencies like flat-tires become even more bothersome when it’s snowing. Luckily, if a student experiences trouble with their car on campus, The University of Nevada, Reno, offers a free Motorist Assistance Program. Between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, the Parking and Transportation Services Department offers assistance with dead battery jumps and flat or low tires. They can also help when you accidentally lock your keys in the car or run out of gas. Don’t be the person that’s stuck hopeless in the snow, program (775) 784-4654 into your phone and be safe out there!

Emergency Alert System

As students, there is nothing better than finding out one of your classes, or all of them, have been canceled when there’s a really bad snow storm. As long as you know before you leave the house and get to campus to find it deserted. As many students already know, the university offers an emergency messaging system, Emergency Alerts, available to faculty, staff and students. The program sends a text and/or email message to all enrolled cell phones and email accounts in the event of an emergency at the University, including closures due to weather. Students are automatically enrolled in the service, but if you have recently changed emails or phone numbers you may need to update your contact information in MyNevada under My Personal Information. The system is only used during emergencies and system testing twice a year, so you don’t have to worry about spam!


The real secret to surviving winter is how you dress; it’s all about layers. Winter clothing may not seem budget friendly, but when you layer, half of the clothes you might need you probably already own. Base layers like cotton tees and thin leggings are good for the really cold days, scarves, hats, and sweaters are also good layering pieces. The key to successful layering is investing in a good jacket. In the long run, a cheap one that falls apart after it sfirst time in the snow will end up costing more. Take advantage of student discounts on Amazon, Unidays, J-Crew, or Banana Republic to get a good-quality coat. It might even last all four years of undergrad if treated with care!

Shoes are the other key component to safely navigating the winter landscape. When the ground is dry, almost any warm shoe you can wear with socks will work, but when there’s snow, slush, or ice boots become a necessity. Take advantage of holiday sales and find a cheap pair at Ross or Kohl’s. Thrift stores are also an excellent place to buy some gently used winter clothes, especially if you normally live in a warmer climate at home.

Winter is pretty cool, so get out there and enjoy it! Do you have any other helpful winter tips? Share them with us @NevadaSagebrush.

Emily Fisher can be reached at and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.