A storm's a-brewing. According to the National Weather Service, the first major blizzard of the season is making its way up the Atlantic coast. Some regions, particularly the Mid-Atlantic, can expect upward of 24 inches of snow with heavy, sustained winds.
Surprisingly, much of New England is expected to miss the brunt of the storm, as most areas will get six inches or less. But we in the Northeast are used to being dumped on each January and February, so we are equipped to impart some knowledge on those in more southern states who might not know how to handle themselves in a blizzard.
Check out these helpful tips born from too much experience in the snow.
Buy a Tarp
Shoveling snow is the worst. It is one of the most dangerous physical activities one can engage in, and several people die every year from shoveling-related heart trauma. Also, factor in the fact that in a blizzard, you may not have the opportunity to clear your car of snow until 2-3 days later. The longer the snow sits there, the more it will compact and freeze, making it significantly more difficult to remove the snow.
That's where the tarp comes in.
Before the first flakes fall, place a tarp atop your car. After the storm, simply pull the tarp from one side, and drag the snow away. You'll save yourself precious time, warmth, and frustration.
Or -- maybe just have a garage.
Have a Sense of Humor
While we all should storm prep in some way, there's nothing that you can do to prevent the inevitable. The storm is coming, whether you like it or not. So why not enjoy it?
Set up a time-lapse camera to record the storm, build a snow castle, use hot water to make your own snow, or re-invent the rules to some classic board games (We once invented a drinking game known as "Slop-opoly."
Get Your Snow Shoes Ready
This applies to people who live in cities -- but some neighborhood bars and restaurants will stay open during a big storm. Don't drive there, walk. Don't be afraid to venture outdoors. First, make sure you bundle up, toss on several layers of clothing, and make sure that you have the energy to make it to your destination and back.
When you get there, you will have a blast. You will be surrounded by your neighbors and peers, who are all now bound together by their mutual disdain for the weather. It's reminiscent of an old Irish publick house, where the whole community unifies over beer and circumstance.
Forget the Bread, Milk, and Eggs
Whenever a snowstorm is imminent, people tend to flock to the grocery stores to buy milk, bread, and eggs. This baffles me. Why those specific items? What happens if the power goes out, the milk and eggs become instantly useless -- and who wants plain, white, and un-toasted bread?
Here are the things that you really should run to the store for: