Without a doubt, my favorite childhood memories are waking up on a school day, peaking outside, seeing a blanket of white, and falling back asleep knowing that my snow dance the night before had worked and that I would be sledding and playing Monopoly that afternoon.
Well, it’s just as good a feeling—if not better—to get a snow day off of work. True, last year’s Snowmaggedon was a bit ridiculous, but even though shoveling out my car is no easy task, it’s worth an unexpected day off.
DC doesn’t get a ton of snow every year (my boyfriend estimates that it’s about every fourth year), which is why when we do get a blizzard we’re pretty unprepared and schools and companies shut down. But here are some tips for the next time it happens.
Check the operating status. The federal government posts delays and closings here, and most other companies and organizations follow its decision. Make sure to find out your work’s policy. The biggest disappointment is when “liberal leave” is in affect, which means that you can take off but you’ll have to use a vacation day. For school closings and delays, check the school’s website or tune into a local radio or TV news program (which often has a scroll at the bottom of the screen).
Capital Weather Gang. During last year’s storms, the Capital Weather Gang was my go-to guide. It’s informative, up-to-date and, at times, even funny.
Get your gear now. Don’t wait until a huge storm is predicted to get shovels, sleds and long underwear. You’ll be out of luck.
Make a plan. What would you do if your power went out for a week? It’s happened to plenty of people in the DC area, and it’s worth thinking about how you would deal with such a situation.
Know what to expect. My apartment complex loans out shovels, which I wish I had known the first two years I lived there. No matter where you live, you should find out from neighbors what your neighborhood is like during a snow storm. Is there an especially slippery sidewalk? A good sledding hill? A road where cars constantly get stuck? These are things you should know.
Check Metro. During snow storms Metro stations located above ground are often closed. Metro buses often aren’t running or are running modified routes. Check the website before you head out.