How To Survive A Blizzard If You Have Only Seen Snow Maybe Once In Your Life

If you live on the East Coast, you are more then aware that a blizzard of historical proportions is preparing to barrel down, rendering everyone temporarily incapacitated and causing a run on grocery store staples like kale and that good wine. For those of us who grew up in places with real seasons, snow is nothing more than an annoyance and a good reason to wear blankets as outerwear. But for people who grew up in places where earthquakes are the norm and the sun shines most days and a rainstorm is enough to make regular people drive like assholes — ahem, Beejoli and Amelia — then Winter Storm Juno is enough to make them lose their shit. That’s why I’m here to help. How am I qualified? I grew up in upstate New York, and I still yearn for snow days. Also, I once drove through a terrifying blizzard in white out conditions with my grandma, who cursed like a sailor the entire time and made my sister and I fear for our lives. I’m an expert! Or, I’m practical with a tendency towards weather-driven hysteria when appropriate. In any case, here’s how you should handle this blizzard.

Go to the grocery store, but remember, it’s not the apocalypse. 

I lived in New York during Sandy, which was a devastating natural disaster for a lot of people, but luckily not for my part of Brooklyn. We got some rain, a few trees fell down and the internet went out like, halfway through the night, but it was overall, totally fine. However, the lines at the grocery store were out of control. I saw girls clutching giant bags of kale and fresh spinach, as if they were going to juice their way through what was certain to be an impending apocalypse. That’s one tactic, sure, but what I suggest is just getting stuff that you like to eat plus some things that are canned, in case the power does go out, and you are staring at a fridge full of perishables. Beans are good. Now would be a good time to indulge in your childhood love of say, Chef Boyardee. Whatever gets you up in the morning, get that. Oreos work. Chips and salsa work. You will most likely encounter lines that will make you think that the end is nigh and we are all going to die in our apartments alone. This is probably not the case. Just get food and make sure it is food that you can make. Then, cook that food so you have stuff to eat, for christ’s sake.

Wine. Weed. Whiskey. Beer. Whatever. Just have it on hand.

You don’t have to go nuts and like, drink everything as if you will never drink again, but there’s something fun about wandering around your house with a glass of something warming and strong in one hand, pretending like you’re snowbound in a cabin in Vermont instead of in your apartment with your roommates, praying the power doesn’t go out during “the most exciting episode of ‘The Bachelor’ ever.” Also, nothing goes better with watching snow fall out of the sky than a big ol’ joint you rolled yourself. Trust me.

Bundle up.

Wear a coat. Wear leggings under your pants. Put on two pairs of socks. Wear your hood, even though it limits your peripheral vision. Find a hat, put on that hat. Gloves! Scarves! Snow is awesome when it’s blowing all around you and dusting your hair with pretty sparkly snowflakes, but when it’s blowing in your face, down your jacket and into your shoes, it really, really sucks. Wear clothes. You will be warm in clothes. Trust me.

Make sure you have stuff to do.

Secure someone’s HBOGo password. Get the Showtime Anytime one too, if you can. Dig through that box of shit you have under your bed to find your DVD of “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” or whatever and make sure it’s accessible. The power will not go out (hopefully), but the internet will before it does. If that happens, you’ll be left to remember how to work your DVD player, and you’re going to want to watch something, at least until the power goes out! Once you’ve exhausted all those options, treat yourself to an old-fashioned and quaint pleasure — reading! Books are great. Books don’t need power. Our ancestors read books by candlelight while wrapped in blankets and woolen cloaks, warming their hands by an old timey wood-burning oven. If you have a flashlight, or a headlamp or, like, some birthday candles that you can light should the power go out, you can read all those books you’ve been meaning to catch up on.  Or masturbate a lot. Or bone the person you’re boning. Or, bone one of your roommates (don’t do this). Dress your cat up in a T-shirt and sing it Joni Mitchell songs. Do whatever it is that you think is fun that you like to do, when you are kinda trapped in your house, because you actually are.

Listen to travel advisories and actually follow them.

It would technically be impossible for you to get on a plane and go to Turks and Caicos during this snowstorm, even if you wanted it, because the airports will be closed and no planes will be getting in and out. Escaping this thing is not an option. However, if you want to, say, go to the store, or run down the street to buy more toilet paper, it might be kind of miserable. If you’re unfamiliar with snow, when they say “white-out,” they don’t mean that snow is white and pretty. They mean it is so white and thick that it is literally kind of hard to see in front of you. It’s not like you won’t be able to walk, it’ll just be shitty, because walking anywhere with 30 MPH winds and snow both coming down from the sky and blowing in your face will suck. If you want to experience the snow and see what all the hype is about, go outside and hang out for a sec. It’s nice! It’s kinda fun! But it’s not something you’d want to stay out in forever and ever.

Don’t panic. Enjoy it.

At the end of the day, this is just a lot of wet stuff falling from the sky. Make a snow angel! Build a snowman. If these are foreign concepts to you, have someone who is more educated in the ways of the East Coast teach you. You’ll be cold, and a little wet, but you can run inside and warm your frozen bod in front of your radiator, which hasn’t turned off since October and will be blasting full steam through April. You’ll be grateful. Enjoy it!