So we’re looking down the barrel of an honest-to-god serious-as-your-mom-when-you-came-home-drunk-after-prom blizzard. Mayor De Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo are both urging commuters to stay off the roads, the subways and buses might be closed early, and schoolchildren across the five boroughs are eagerly awaiting a day to frolic in the park. From our dear Uncle Mayor: “This could be the biggest snowstorm in the history of this city. My message to New Yorkers is to prepare for something worse than we have ever seen before.” What should you do? What should you buy? What is this nonsense?
DO: Stock up on a couple nonperishable food items, like a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, some hardy-ish fruit (apples or clementines or bananas) and some canned soups. Granola is cool. A flashlight and some batteries would also be good, as would some of those plain candles in glass holders that you can buy at bodegas. (With or without saints emblazoned on them is your call.)
The blizzard is predicted to be bad enough that power outages are a possibility, though they’ll still be pretty localized. In case that happens, you’ll want to be prepared to ride out a couple meals without the power of your oven or fridge or Vitamixer, and have some sort of light source. It’s always good to have peanut butter anyway.
DON’T: Order Seamless in the middle of a whiteout.
I know that it seems like a magic computer button where you can just click, and, voila! Pad thai! But first, think of the delivery people who have to go through the whipping snow and ice to deliver those slightly spicy noodles, who should be, like you, hunkered down somewhere under a comforter. Second, if your place is under snow seige, so is that restaurant. If you absolutely must order delivery, please make sure to tip that guy at least 75 percent.
DO: Stock up on alcohol
You never know with these kind of storms, but odds are high that locating a bottle of Chardonnay or gin in the middle of it is not going to happen. That way you can spend the time pleasantly drunk instead of checking Accuweather every thirty seconds.
DON’T: Forget to also have some bottles of water handy.
When the power goes out, that can also mean that the water pumps and boilers of apartments stop working. Don’t be stuck with a killer hangover and a non-working shower/toilet/tap. BAD NEWS. (Also fill your tub, why not.)
DO: If you have pets, make sure you have enough food to tide them a couple days. Also, if you have medicine you need to take, make sure you’ve got a reserve of that.
DON’T: Try that trick where you throw boiling water in the air to watch it freeze. First, it’s not going to be that cold out. Second, you are just going to end up throwing boiling water on yourself like these people.
DO: Find some people you like to ride out the storm with.
Strength in numbers is something that applies here, particularly when pretty much everyone you know has the day off or is working from home. You can share resources or snuggle up together or play Settlers of Catan.
DO: Charge your devices.
Because remember those lines to charge people’s phones after Sandy hit? It was not great. Charge your phone and your computer and whatever else, so that you can eke out some battery life if you need to.
DON’T: Use this as an opportunity to get a big emotional conversation out of the way.
Blizzards/hurricanes are a bad time for breaking up. Don’t ask how I know. Just trust. Also, if you have a roommate, now is not the time to bring up how they are never respectful of your chore wheel. It is also probably not the best time to bust out your patented “snow-aoke” with the lyrics to popular songs changed to be about the blizzard, or to put the Frozen soundtrack on repeat. Well, OK. Maybe the first one.