As of Monday night, eight U.S. states are currently under a blizzard warning as Winter Storm Stella barrels across the country towards the East Coast. Schools are closing, mass transit is grinding to a halt and going shopping is an absolute nightmare: this nor'easter has all the signs of a good, old-timey snow day.
So, to make the most of what's sure to be a winter wonderland of sorts, Newsweek staffers came together to offer sage advice for what's to come—and some tales of caution for what you absolutely should not do under any circumstances.
From footwear to dairy products to tips passed down from our ancestors, here is the best advice for how to weather Stella and whatever she may bring:
Ken Li, Managing Editor:
"Keep batteries and candles close, but the wine closer."
John Seeley, National Editor:
"I grew up in Buffalo (survived the famous Blizzard of '77) and was always told: If you leave your car on a one-way street and want to avoid extra shoveling, park on the left side, as the plows push snow to the right. If the snow is deep, don't sit in your car with the engine running because carbon monoxide can seep into the passenger area if exhaust pipes are blocked. If your car is sliding on ice, steer into the direction you're sliding, not the opposite, and try to avoid braking. To keep snow from sticking to your shovel, apply bacon grease (or Crisco or WD-40, etc.) to both sides of the blade. And remember: It's not a blizzard unless there are sustained winds of at least 35 mph. Without high winds, it's just a snowstorm!"
Ross Schneiderman, Deputy Editor:
"Tip #1: When a blizzard hits New York, make sure you live in Los Angeles."
Shaminder Dulai, Director of Photography:
"Turn your faucets to a slow drip to avoid freezing your pipes. Download some videos in case your internet goes out, recharge your phones before bed in case power goes out, don't be a jerk and make seamless deliver in a blizzard, get some bread and milk today."
Michele Gorman, Politics Reporter:
"...but also don't be a jerk and empty every store shelf: This weather likely won't last more than a day and you actually will be able to buy more food and supplies in less than 24 hours. Let's not make every blizzard prediction the Apocalypse. Also, do you really not have a shovel leftover from the last storm?? Is it really necessary to create such a panic at every hardware store?"
Joanna Brenner, Digital Strategy Editor:
"Remember, rainboots are not snow boots, and neither are Ugg Boots. Should you choose to brave the outdoors, remember to wear appropriate footwear lest you slip, freeze your toes off, or stink up your apartment with the heinous smell of a sopping wet Ugg."
Lucy Wescott, Reporter:
"Tip: Don't even try to cross the road, no matter how close the McDonald's looks. I lived in the northwest suburbs of Chicago for a few years of my childhood. My family and I arrived from Swindon amid one of the worst blizzards in the region's history (it even has its own Wikipedia page!) We weathered this storm in a suite at a La Quinta Inn as our house wasn't ready, wiling away the hours playing Uno and eating mainly from the vending machine. After a few days, we decided to try and walk to the McDonald's directly across the road, but soon found ourselves in white-out, Revenant-like conditions. Our attempt to procure hot cakes seemed like it would end in certain death. We immediately turned around and went back to the comfort of the vending machine. You see that McDonald's across the road? DON'T DO IT."
Chelsea Hassler, News Director:
"First, hide your snow shovel so nobody can accuse you of not shoveling. Then: Law & Order, fleece blankets, the Sunday crossword puzzle and a cuddly housepet. You can do no wrong."
Ryan Bort, Staff Writer:
"This one was passed down from my grandma, who used a similar method with newspaper articles to foretell Nixon's resignation in '74.
Make sure you have an unlit, virgin candle (the larger, the better) and a fully charged smartphone. Once the blizzard hits, lock yourself in a closet, light the candle, and begin reading Donald Trump's tweets, scrolling from newest to oldest. Do not skip any tweets. Read and consider every one. Meditate on Trump, America and the sins of humanity that have wrought this demonic ice storm. Ask yourself where Jesus would fall on the climate change debate.
Once the candle burns through to the end, emerge from the closet and read the next tweet in the feed aloud three times into a mirror. Then go outside. As the saying goes...
If the snow is piled to the knee,
Eight more years of Trump ye will see.
If the snow is low-lyin',
An impeachment be on the horizon.
Bury your phone to complete the ceremony."
Jessica Wapner, Science Reporter:
"Yes, there is some reason to worry that consuming snow may not be all that good for you. But for those who prefer to throw caution to the blizzard-condition winds, the deliciousness of maple syrup snow candy can erase any residual concerns.
Being cooped up at home during Snowpocalypse is also an excellent excuse to peruse the work of Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, the Vermonter who brought the beauty of individual snow crystals to photographic life in the early 1900s. This children’s book tells the story of his intrepid dedication to what became his life’s work.
Once visibility returns, a step in the newly fallen blanket may reveal a blue glow. Find out why here."
Doug Main, Science Reporter:
"My advice is to be in southern Arizona, where it's in the mid-70s and sunny."
Jess Firger, Health Reporter:
Before: Stock up on water, toilet paper, and enough food for two to three days. A good way to solve the food problem is to make a giant pot of soup or stew that work for several meals. Then you can freeze the leftovers. Follow the Zombie Preparedness plan. You'll be well prepared for the Snowpocalypse and the living dead!
During: Avoid a post-storm food coma by sticking with foods high in protein and low in sugar and fat. Because I'm a journalist I won't tell you not to drink. Keep moving: Stay active at home with yoga, Pilates and impromptu dance parties. How about a little spring cleaning? Outside may be an Ice Age but believe it or not, sunshine and balmy breeze will be here before we know it. This is a great opportunity to clean out a closet. Try the Marie Kondo method and make two piles: things you find useful and/or bring you joy and the shit you need to get rid of. Turn a snow day into a spa day! It's the perfect day for some deep cleaning and exfoliating. Here are some DIY options: Sugar scrub (half a cup of real sugar plus two to three tablespoons of your favorite oil, plus essential oil), salt scrub (same thing, but use salt and a little more oil), cellulite-busting coffee scrub (save the grinds from your morning cup of Joe and add half part salt, plus oil of choice).
After: Snow-shoveling induced cardiac arrest is much more common than you think. If you're typically not a very physically active person, or if you're an out of shape and overweight middle-age man, then take it slow with frequent breaks (or pay your neighbor's teen to do it). Some doctors actually recommend everyone over age 55 and those with heart conditions avoid snow shoveling entirely. One study out of Canada looked at data from 128,073 hospital admissions and 68,155 deaths from heart attack in the province of Quebec between 1981 and 2014. They found that a third of heart attacks occurred the day after a snowfall, and heart attacks were even more prevalent two and three days after a heavy snowfall."
Nina Burleigh, National Politics Correspondent:
"We put on a pot of something hearty in the morning and let it simmer all day. When cabin fever sets in, we take a dog or a child out in it. Instagram it. Enjoy! Snow days in the big city are truly the sweetest of days, and especially to be savored because we know well what the next slushy days hold in store."
Matt Cooper, Politics Editor:
"Blizzard advice: First, don't let your friends or relatives from more frigid climes belittle your snowstorm or your animated response to it just because it's dwarfed by their regular arctic poundings and the alacrity with which they deal with whiteouts. If it disrupts your life so that you feel compelled to hoard milk and toilet paper, it's a big deal. Second, this forced hybernation is an excellent time to hone your cooking skills with something you might not normally try. If you don't bake, this is the day to hit the pies. If you don't cook, at least make some cocoa, the real kind with sugar, unsweetened cocoa and some of that milk you've been hoarding.”
John Walters, Senior Sports Writer:
"Tip: Visit your mom.*
*It helps if your mom lives just outside of Phoenix….”
"Make sure your vape pen is charged and your vibrator has fresh batteries. Seriously."
Zach Schonfeld, Senior Writer:
"If you have jury duty during a blizzard, call the court in the morning to find out whether the court is closed. Even if the ADA told you to come in. Even if the ADA told you the court never closes. Even if the ADA told you the court doesn't close unless the building burns down. Call ahead. It's probably closed. The ADA lied to you."
Vincent Balestriere, Video Producer:
"Don’t forget the bread and milk."