The Snowpacalypse is Upon Us

The panic really started at the beginning of the week, when my weekly trip to Wegman’s for the groceries saw she shelves cleared of many items. That’s telling, because Wegman’s is usually on top of that shit. It was worse than the week before Christmas. As soon as Pennsylvanians hear the word “snow” in the forecast, people head to the grocery store to stock up as if the Russians just launched all the ICBMs out of their silos and we only have 30 minutes to grab all the canned goods we can get our hands on. I’ve never understood this. We have plows, we have salt. Unless it’s piled up over the roads, you’re stuck inside for a day, at best.

I notice the fogey quotient was up pretty high this week, so I think a lot of it is old people. Old people seem to be more prone to panic. Either way, I’m trying to figure out whether to go to work tomorrow. It’s forecast not to start until later in the evening, but my commute is 45 miles one-way and that’s a long way to go if it’s heavy snow because they were wrong. Unlike DC, we know how to drive in snow, but the correct technique is slow and deliberate, and I’m not eager to do 45 miles of that.

11 Responses to “The Snowpacalypse is Upon Us”

  1. Alpheus says:

    As a Latter-day Saint (aka Mormon), I *theoretically* should have the mindset of “Have a 72-hour kit, 3-month regular-ish food supply, and a 1-year icky-but-long-lasting food supply ready for emergencies” mindset, which should avoid panics like this, too.

    Of course, as a financially-struggling Latter-day Saint, my family could probably last a week or two scrounging food from the cabinets, but we aren’t nearly as organized on this as we ought to be…

    (And the fun part: certain Government entities want to label any person that has more than a week or two of food as a potential “terrorist”. You could never trust those Mormons or Prepper types, can you?…)

  2. stephana says:

    I live in the snow belt of ne ohio, and work in the alternate snow belt. If we get lake effect I get hammered at least part of the 40 miles one way. Snow tire’s, patience and keeping out of the way of the idiots has worked for me for years.

    If you don’t feel up to it, stay home and be assured of being safe.

  3. Roger Wilson says:

    I’m not exactly in the “lake effect” area but it does get here once or twice a year. Last year it missed entirely. I think the most we got was two feet in one storm. This year the most we got was maybe two inches.

  4. Carl from Chicago says:

    We now live far enough out in the country that at any given point we have enough stock to hold out a couple weeks without dependence on commercial supply lines. We can even deal fine without electricity. Kind of nice to be in that situation, which is quite unlike it was up in Chi-town. Folks tend to panic a lot, but much of that is their own lack of preparation. Most of the rest is explained by a lack of perspective.

  5. mac says:

    I grew up in NE Ohio. First snowfall was always tricky, but by January, most of us knew what we were doing. I was totally shocked when visiting my girlfriend in MD and a rain storm hit. There might have been some hail. Either way, we needed to pick up some items from the grocery store for dinner.

    When we arrived, the store was packed and getting worse. Everyone was buying milk, bread and toilet paper. I couldn’t fathom it. It wasn’t like they were going to be snowed in for days; it was just a storm. My girlfriend explained that everyone did this ahead of a storm, whether they needed the items or not.

    I weathered quite a few snow and ice storms in OH. In some cases we were snowed in for a few days. I don’t recall my parents ever panicking and rushing out to stock up.

  6. Roger says:

    This old fogey, (71 yrs and counting) lives in south east Florida.
    This is where whenever the news begins to spout off about a hurricane, the stores empty out, and near panic abounds.
    Very simple method to preclude panic. Remember your old boy scout motto: BE PREPARED!
    Have food, water, fuel, a blessedly good genny all ready for when. or whenever, or whatever.
    Don’t be a lemming and follow the crowd over the cliff. BE PREPARED!.
    This also includes proper training, and yes, personal defense.
    No matter where you live, there can be and will be natural or man made disasters. Be aware and be prepared.

  7. Spade says:

    I’ve got two months of stored food, but the wife wanted beef stew.

    Our Wegmans was out of all beef roasts. And I bought the last cabbage. It was weird.

  8. Jim says:

    Back in 1993 on inauguration day we had a big wind storm that knocked out the power in our area for 5 or 6 days. On about day 2 or 3 I told my wife
    I was going up to the supermarket to buy some stuff. When I got there it was complete pandemonium, people running around looking for water, batteries, lamp oil, yada, yada, yada. No backup generator so the freezers melted and the meat was all spoiled, shelves emptied of canned goods. Electronic cash registers not working. I went to the cooler and grabbed the half rack of beer that I had come for and went to pay the cashier, told her to keep the change. The people in that store looked at me like I was friggin’ crazy and when I got home my wife had a good laugh while we watched the local news on TV. Back then I was the only one smart enough to own a generator (Lincoln Welder actually) in our neighborhood, now everyone has one. Like the gentleman above said, “be prepared”. Oh, and when we were watching the LA riots on TV my wife turned and asked how much ammo I had for my AK, when I told her she said to go buy another case.

  9. SJ says:

    Those old fogies are probably working on habits developed when Wegman’s wasn’t around, and the supply chain for the predecessor wasn’t good enough to guarantee the shelves would be stocked after the storm…

  10. Ryoushin says:

    Before recently moving to Pittsburgh, I resided in Northern Virginia for 20+ years. Having lived in other places where if the snow plows couldn’t get through, school was canceled, I always thought it was funny that school was was canceled if there was 1/2″ of snow on the ground that was usually melted by the time you got dressed.

    Never understood the rush to get french toast makings, especially if power might go out. Wife still listens to local news in DC. People were told to take public transportation (Metro, i.e. subway) if they needed to go to work. Then story broke that Metro was shutting down Friday night until Sunday night. Been through 4 snow events in Pittsburgh since moving, no one blinks an eye. In DC, they would have thought the world was ending. Also we used to joke that locals knew how to drive in the snow, it was all the others who moved to the DC area to work for the administration that couldn’t drive.

  11. Roger Wilson says:

    During my time in the USN I was stationed in San Diego. One winter when we got snow in the local mountains. I decided to drive up and play in the snow a bit. When I turned of the Main Highway I hit a road block set up by the CHP. They said I had to put chains on. As I grew up in the Buffalo, NY area. I ask, “How deep is the snow?”. He replied two to three inches. I replied showing my NYS license. Where I’m from we don’t put chains on until its up to the bumper. Finally he let me proceed but warned me if I got stuck they would not pull me out. Sounded like a deal to me. I didn’t get up to Julian until noon and most of the snow was gone.