What Do You Really Need To Know About Snowpocalypse 2016?

Photo: Karen Bleier/Getty Images.
With a potentially lethal blizzard bearing down on the East Coast, people are freaking out. The National Weather Service is warning of more than two feet of snow in some areas, with a cheerful note that Winter Storm Jonas could pose a "threat to life and property."

Up and down the coast, people are hunkering down and preparing for the worst. If you're in the line of the storm, you've probably filled up your cabinets, bought flashlight batteries, and called your mother to reassure her that you've also filled up your bathtub with water and will be perfectly fine, you promise. But while everyone's trying to figure out the best way to ride out the storm, there's more speculation flying than snowflakes. So what do you really need to know?

Skip the eggs and milk, go for the peanut butter and jelly.

When people are worried about getting trapped in a snowbound house, the three things they're most likely to stock up on are eggs, bread, and milk, according to Time magazine. While those items are great for a cozy morning breakfast, they're not much good if the power goes out. Eggs have to be cooked, and milk spoils quickly if not stored properly. Admittedly, in a winter storm, the backyard could probably double as a refrigeration, but then you'd have to step out into the cold.

Rather than packing in the perishables, hit up long-lasting food items, like bread, peanut butter, and canned foods. Also worth noting: Wine is a non-perishable item.

If you're in a city, you may not need to stockpile water and batteries.

Preparing for power outages is an important part of storm preparedness, but if you're an urban apartment dweller, it may be overkill. In New York City, the power grid is underground in most of the city, making it much less susceptible to the vagaries of wind and weather. Look out your window. If you don't see elevated power lines, you're most likely safe from all but catastrophic blackouts.
Your water supply may also be secure. In densely packed neighborhoods, water pipes typically run underground or between buildings, making them less likely to freeze and burst. If you rent, you can check with your landlord on whether your pipes are exposed to the elements. But even if you think you're home free, it never hurts to pick up that extra pack of AAs. What if your remote control dies?
Seriously, don't travel if you can help it.

You'll never have a better excuse to flake than an enormous storm. Roads will be icy, trains will be delayed, and flights are already cancelled. Just laugh it off. "Sorry guys, there's a giant blizzard! I guess I'm going to have to miss the all-curry potluck. Next time!" Your pajamas await.

Master your penguin walk!

This is a real thing! Today has a whole diagram about the proper way to walk on slippery ground so that you don't slip and break a leg. The key is to maintain your center of gravity and a stiff leg, rather than rolling off the ball of your foot.

Another upside? A penguin walk takes a whole different set of muscles than your normal stride, so you'll get a little bit of a workout if you keep it up long enough — yet another reason to get out and build a snowman!

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