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  • Writer's pictureDarcy Morehouse

Not-So-Obvious Snowstorm Prepping Tips

It looks like we’re going to be getting snow this weekend. Like, a lot. We’ve all read the panicked lists of things you NEED to do to prepare for snowpocalypse. But we live in the foothills of the Adirondacks, so a couple of feet of snow is nothing new for us. We know that we’re going to need batteries for flashlights, extra pellets for the stove, a 19-month supply of canned goods, and a spare windmill in case the power goes out.

It’s always a good idea to be prepared. It’s also a good idea to not panic.

Growing up in upstate New York means that we’re pros at the whole giant snowstorm thing. At this stage in our lives, our biggest issue when the snow hits, like it does every year, is staving off the boredom and keeping sane with a house full of hyped-up kids.

We have some quick, not-so-obvious tips for blizzardzilla prepping that you probably won’t see on the FEMA site.

Simple stuff to make your life easier:

  • Find all of your snow clearing supplies, like salt and shovels, and move them to an easy-to-reach place.

  • If you don’t have any, get some sand or kitty litter for getting cars unstuck.

  • If you’re feeling ambitious, you can pretreat your driveway or walkways with a de-icer . You can use a basic rock salt, or you can spring for a liquid de-icer like Calcium Chloride or Magnesium Chloride. Make sure you read the directions on the package and apply it sparingly, as some can be corrosive or toxic.

  • Did you know they make battery powered sump pumps? Our basement floods if it’s foggy outside, so a combination of melting snow and no power for the pumps basically turns it into a swimming pool.

  • Refill prescriptions.

  • If you have a day of the week that you usually grocery shop on, you may want to shift it by a day or two, and get easy, nonperishable stuff to eat that you don’t have to cook. Like chips and salsa. And beer.

  • Grab a little cash to pay ambitious teenagers to shovel (unless you’re mean parents, like us, who just make them shovel for free).

  • If you use a snow removal service, they should have contacted you 3-5 days before the storm to coordinate schedules and travel plans.

For the kids:

  • Preplan childcare in case school is closed.

  • Find all the kids’ snow gear. If it’s at school or daycare, make sure to bring it home when you pick them up the day before the storm. By the way, do you have any matching gloves we can borrow??

  • Plan to make it a special, fun day for the kids. Maybe make waffles and cocoa for breakfast. Or special “snow day cereal”. I don’t know, do you.

  • Pick up a new game or puzzles.

  • Get the sleds and snow toys out and put them in an easy to reach place.

  • Charge all the devices.

  • Download Netflix movies to mobile devices in case (the horror!!) the wifi goes out.

  • Glowsticks in case the power goes out.

Take care of the furry kids too:

  • If you have animals outside, make sure they have enough food and move it close to their enclosure.

  • Have a plan for water if you usually use an outdoor spigot or hose that may freeze.

  • Clear an area near the door to take pets out, and make sure to keep them on a leash.

  • Sometimes animals take off in unfamiliar situations, and you do NOT want to run through a couple of feet of snow to chase after them.

Remember, this is all about survival. Not surviving the snow, surviving being stuck at home with kids for an entire weekend. So, grab a box of wine (or case of La Croix) and hunker down!

Looking for something to read? Check out some of my favorite books on business and leadership!


PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE STILL DO THE REAL SNOWSTORM PREPPING STUFF TOO! I don’t want to hear that you froze or starved or died in any other totally preventable way because we told you to stock up on glowsticks. Some great resources for real, life-saving stuff are:


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