Learning Objectives & Activities

Winter Weather Emergencies - Ideas for Educators of Health Professionals

Below are ideas for educators who are teaching health professionals and may wish to develop learning content or activities related to health impacts of winter weather. These ideas should be customized based on the learners, their needs, scope of practice, and the educational context.

Options for Learning Objectives:

At the end of the learning activity, the learner will be able to:

  1. Explain how winter weather and storms impact human health, especially in health systems, clinical, and public health dimensions.

  2. State ways in which health professionals can contribute to preparedness for, response to, and recovery from winter weather emergencies given their scope of practice.

  3. Critically analyze the multiple role-based expectations of health professionals in winter weather emergencies. Major role categories include:

    • individual

    • family (significant others)

    • organization

    • profession

    • community

  4. Describe strategies for safe sheltering practices during extreme cold and snow events.

Options for Learning Activities:

  1. Walk through the resources online during class and discuss their applicability and utility for the learner.

  2. Lead a class discussion about the health and systems impacts of winter weather. Possible discussion questions are:

    • Describe the types of illness and injury associated with winter weather and storms.

    • What are the public health implications of winter weather emergencies?

    • What effects might a winter storm have on different health systems, such as hospitals, EMS, and healthcare coalitions?

    • What information should health professionals provide for safe sheltering during an extreme cold or snow event?

  3. Ask learners to respond to the following question, either verbally or in writing: How can you as a health professional, within your scope of practice, contribute to the preparedness for, response to, and recovery from a winter weather emergency?

  4. In the context of a winter weather disaster, consider the following:

    • What do you expect of yourself?

    • What does your family (significant others) expect of you?

    • What does your organization expect of you?

    • What does your profession expect of you?

    • What does the community expect of you?

  5. Invite learners to work in small groups to draft a public service announcement for your county on actions citizens should take to reduce injury and death from winter weather emergencies.

  6. Invite a member of another response professional group to discuss interprofessional coordination and collaboration necessary in response to a winter storm. Discuss barriers to such interprofessional coordination and collaboration.

  7. As a group, identify a population that is particularly vulnerable to adverse health effects during a winter weather emergency. Develop strategies that could be implemented to protect their well-being during these events. What professions or organizations in your local community could participate in this effort?