Our friends to the north may be laughing as they see Texans scrambling to deal with what has been dubbed a “Texas blizzard”, but for those who are unprepared for a winter storm it is no laughing matter. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth has already received 15.7 inches of snow this season. Now the National Weather Service has issued another alert for winter weather. While Fort Worth is only expected to receive two to four inches of snow at this point, as last month’s snowfall has shown us, it never hurts to be prepared.
Here are four steps that everyone should take to prepare for winter weather:
1. Don’t panic – At the risk of sounding like Douglas Adams, the best advice you can follow is to not panic. While snow and ice can make for hazardous conditions, scared people hurrying about will most certainly make those conditions worse.
2. Plan ahead – You don’t necessarily need to stockpile a month’s worth of food, but if harsh weather conditions are forecast for your regular weekly shopping day, it makes sense to go ahead and shop earlier. You may also want to check flashlight batteries and finish laundry ahead of time so that if electricity is off for a while, you have what you need.
3. Stay home – Most businesses will not close for an inch or two of snow, but if you can take a day off and avoid the traffic jams, go for it. Many people have the option of taking a half day or working from home. Likewise, if you don’t have to work, resist the urge to go out unless you really need to do so.
4. Keep busy – Sitting and staring out the window at snow or rain will drive you crazy and make you worry (see step 1). If you’ve got a day off, make the most of it. Either catch up on something you’ve been putting off or take a mini-vacation at home. If the kids are not in school, plan a family game day or something else to stave off cabin fever.
5. Have fun – Instead of grumbling about how much work you should be doing or how cold it is, make the best of what you’ve got. Build a snowman or have a snowball fight. Make cocoa and cookies for a snack. Take photos of your fluffy white yard before it all melts.
Although Fort Worth residents and other north Texans may not see a winter like 2010 very often, with a little planning, this “blizzard” will pass into the history books without leaving too much damage in its wake. You may even get to enjoy a few days off.