The country has been put on high-alert. It's time to take preparedness seriously, America.
Snow is coming.
Whether you think the polar vortex (redux) is real or just hype (Canadians like to call it "winter"), we know you have routines you go through to decide what to wear and how to prepare for the day ahead. Here are our tips for surviving everything from a flurry to #snowpocalypse, or as some people like to spell it on Twitter, #snowpacolypse, a variant spelling that may be attributable to a general sense of panic.
Step 1: See how many weather reports you can check simultaneously.
When you're alarm goes off, spring into action mode: simultaneously use your TV, smartphone and computer to check weather reports from as many sources as possible, then run your own meteorological algorithm to find the average projected snowfall for the microclimate that is your neighborhood. If the estimate you arrive at is a 3 percent or higher chance of receiving more than 1/4 inch of precipitation within a 100-mile range of your house, proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Figure out what's more important - fashion or function.
Personal preference plays a big role here. You know the types that surface in each snowstorm: there's the Michelin Man, who puts on every single piece of clothing he owns when the temperature drops below 20, and ends up looking like Joey from Friends ("Could I BE wearing any more clothes?!"); the "I don't need a coat" guy, who walks around in a hooded sweatshirt and sopping wet sneakers; and the Snow Bunny, who manages to look perfect in winter weather, with hair miraculously staying put in a fresh-off-the-slopes way. How do you bundle up for the storm?
Step 3: Figure out how to skip school, even if it's not closed.
There are two ways to figure out if school's closed on snow days: the parental way, and the kid way. If you're a kid and it's snowing, it's on you to convince your parents that it's way too dangerous to venture out into the world for something as simple as an education; it's much more important to stay home and safe (and then go sledding down perilously steep hills). Parents, it's up to you to drop your kids off at school anyway and hope someone shows up to teach them.
Step 4: When an ice scraper and four-wheel drive just won't cut it, contemplate more primitive modes of travel.
Roads can be dangerous whether they're covered in only an inch of snowy-rain or three feet of the white stuff. So ditch the SUV and do what Santa does: travel by reindeer-pulled-sleigh. Other options include snowshoe and cross-country ski, as well as a sled pulled by neighborhood dogs and/or children.
Step 5: Daydream about tropical vacations while seeking out sources of heat.
Use a wide array of heat sources to stay warm. In the beverage category, go for hot chocolate, tea, coffee, soup, or if you're feeling wild, a hot toddy. Find a fireplace or build a fire. Probably best not to do that indoors, but if you're outdoors feel free to roast marshmallows and sing camp songs. Watch movies indoors or make your own. Read ABC News for the most up-to-date information on snowfall and world news. And finally, when you're so exhausted from stomping around in 10 layers of clothing and boots, take a nap. Enjoy the snow!